Revealing barriers to healthier fast food consumption choices

Revealing barriers to healthier fast food consumption choices Purpose – In light of growing concerns around obesity, the present work investigates why consumers continue to choose traditional unhealthy fast food options over newly offered healthier fast food alternatives. Design/methodology/approach – A total of 24 value laddering interviews were conducted with people who had just purchased an item from the traditional menu at McDonalds. Individual reasoning for not selecting a healthier Weight Watchers' approved alternative was aggregated across the respondent set to form a summary map which pictorially displays barriers to healthier fast food choices. Findings – Consumers' choices not to purchase healthier fast food options were dominated by Self Direction type values and are heavily influenced by engrained perceptions that fast food is junk food. Practical implications – For the fast food industry, this research highlights that to help shift consumers' choices toward healthier alternatives, they need to reposition themselves as quick service restaurants that offer good tasting food that is both convenient and healthy. Social implications – For public policy makers, this research suggests a need to address the perceptions of personal relevance of obesity and diet related health issues. Originality/value – The valuable in‐depth information collected via the value laddering process offers substantial insights into the unexplored area of barriers to healthier fast food consumption. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png British Food Journal Emerald Publishing

Revealing barriers to healthier fast food consumption choices

British Food Journal, Volume 116 (5): 11 – Apr 28, 2014

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0007-070X
DOI
10.1108/BFJ-11-2012-0269
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – In light of growing concerns around obesity, the present work investigates why consumers continue to choose traditional unhealthy fast food options over newly offered healthier fast food alternatives. Design/methodology/approach – A total of 24 value laddering interviews were conducted with people who had just purchased an item from the traditional menu at McDonalds. Individual reasoning for not selecting a healthier Weight Watchers' approved alternative was aggregated across the respondent set to form a summary map which pictorially displays barriers to healthier fast food choices. Findings – Consumers' choices not to purchase healthier fast food options were dominated by Self Direction type values and are heavily influenced by engrained perceptions that fast food is junk food. Practical implications – For the fast food industry, this research highlights that to help shift consumers' choices toward healthier alternatives, they need to reposition themselves as quick service restaurants that offer good tasting food that is both convenient and healthy. Social implications – For public policy makers, this research suggests a need to address the perceptions of personal relevance of obesity and diet related health issues. Originality/value – The valuable in‐depth information collected via the value laddering process offers substantial insights into the unexplored area of barriers to healthier fast food consumption.

Journal

British Food JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 28, 2014

Keywords: Values; Barriers; Health; Consumption; Fast‐food; Food‐choice

References

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