The relative importance of primary food choice factors among different consumer groups: A latent profile analysis

Publication Name

Food Quality and Preference


Food choices determine consumers’ dietary and energy intakes, and in turn their risk of obesity and diet-related diseases. Factors affecting food choices are complex, varied, and inter-connected. The aims of this study were to assess the relative importance of four factors influencing food choices (taste, price, healthiness, and convenience) and identify segments of consumers according to their ratings. Australian consumers (n = 1,558) aged 18 + years completed an online survey assessing a range of factors influencing their food choices, including the perceived importance of taste, price, healthiness, and convenience. Latent profile analysis was undertaken to identify segments, with bivariate analyses then conducted to describe the differences between the derived segments. Overall, taste was reported to be the dominant factor determining food choices (Mean (M) = 4.42; SD = 0.72; z-score = 0.43), followed by price (M = 4.19; SD = 0.78; z-score = 0.15), healthiness (M = 4.07; SD = 0.82, z-score = 0.00), and finally convenience (M = 3.79; SD = 0.82, z-score = -0.35). However, there were variations in absolute and relative ratings across the four identified segments. Two segments (‘High involvement’ and ‘Taste focused’, together accounting for 53% of the sample) rated taste highest, and the other two segments (‘Moderate involvement’ and ‘Indifferent’, 47% of the sample) rated price highest. Age, gender, residential location, and responsibility for grocery shopping were associated with segment membership. Understanding the dominant drivers of food choices across different consumer segments is useful for the development of tailored nutrition promotion messages and interventions to address obesity and other diet-related diseases.

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