Consumption decisions in the food sector – Conceptual and empirical studies from the food marketing context
This cumulative dissertation investigates the topic of consumption decisions in the food sector by means of conceptual and empirical studies. Following the principles of inter- and intradisciplinary research, the dissertation is situated at the intersection sensory marketing, health marketing, and sustainability marketing. Moreover, it takes aspects of neighboring (e.g., psychology) and distant disciplines (e.g., food science) into account. One objective is to summarize the existing body of prior research activities with close consideration of relevant predictors of food choice, scientific domains, and the amount of research over time. The first conceptual article is the first one that systematically reviews quantitative studies in the field of food decision making across disciplines. Although this field is tackled from different angles in single disciplines, the results of the article stresses that research lacks of interdisciplinarity. The second conceptual article extensively addresses the need for interdisciplinary research from a conceptual point of view. It provides an overview of methods used to investigate extrinsic and intrinsic product attributes in consumer and sensory research. Considering the empirical studies, the first article for example, portrays how consumers react to light-colored packaging of different products at different parts of the purchase process and suggests a theoretical underpinning of the boundary conditions under which this health cue operates (e.g., availability of sensory information). With a total of six studies, this article provides insights into consumer behavior at the frontier of health and sensory marketing. Against the background of food waste reduction, the second and third empirical article demonstrate the importance of a food product’s visual appearance in attracting attention, and influencing choice behavior and sensory experience.