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Title: Marketing health and nutrition claims; Their subjective importance, attitudinal influences and cognitive representation
Authors: Corney, Michael John
Advisors: Wright, MJ
Murray, L
Issue Date: 1997
Publisher: School of Social Sciences Theses
Abstract: This thesis analyses the subjective importance, attitudinal influences and cognitive representation of marketing health and nutrition claims. Examining the importance of claims to choices of members of the public revealed that claims were accorded the highest subjective importance, despite low visual attention. This finding was replicated with students and staff of a Food Science department, an indication that relatively higher knowledge does not alter their perceived importance. The attitudinal influence of claim information was measured by ratings on attributes, previously generated specifically for the study, for packages shown with and without claims on computer. Packages with-claims were perceived as significantly more informative, easier to purchase and influenced participants to believe that others, whose opinion is important to them, would think that they should buy them. Data reduction of the attribute scores produced three factors; enjoyment, nutrition and surface appearance. Enjoyment was twice as important to participants' attitude to purchase than nutrition. With French participants, the results showed that the claims only influenced the perception of flavour, which was thought to be worse in the with-claims condition. There was no replication of the finding that others would be significantly more likely to think they should buy the products that displayed claims. Both population samples thought the provision of information on food labels to be highly important. The cognitive representation of claims was explored using recognition and recollection tests. The first experiments revealed that British consumers have an expectation that claims will be worded in implication form to avoid legal infringements. Food and vocabulary related knowledge differences did not alter this finding. Testing long term memory showed an increased effect with British participants, but no effect with the French owing to their lack of experience of such claims. Finally, no distinction between the meaning of the implied and asserted forms of the claims were shown in a test conducted using only British participants.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University.
Appears in Collections:Dept of Life Sciences Theses

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