How Do Consumers Solve Value Conflicts in Food Choices? An Empirical Description and Points For Theory-Building

Harri T. Luomala, University of Vaasa
Pirjo Laaksonen, University of Vaasa
Hanna Leipamaa, University of Vaasa
ABSTRACT - In this paper, the value conflicts that consumers may experience while making food choices are addressed. On the basis of a literature review, there may exist several food-related value conflicts including novelty vs. tradition, health vs. indulgence, economy vs. extravagancy, convenience vs. care, technology vs. nature, and others vs. self. The key empirical issue of this study was how individuals phenomenologically experience these different food-related value conflicts. Our empirical data was qualitative and consisted of collages and interviews. Our data suggests that the most common food-related value conflicts are those between convenience and care and between health and indulgence. These two conflict experiences are described and analyzed in depth. The paper concludes by showing the relevance of attribution and balance theories in moving consumer research toward conceptualizing value conflicts in food choices.
[ to cite ]:
Harri T. Luomala, Pirjo Laaksonen, and Hanna Leipamaa (2004) ,"How Do Consumers Solve Value Conflicts in Food Choices? An Empirical Description and Points For Theory-Building", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 31, eds. Barbara E. Kahn and Mary Frances Luce, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 564-570.