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The convenience consumer's dilemma

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Purpose ‐ The overall aim of this research is to increase understanding of consumers' barriers in relation to convenience food. While the motivation for consuming convenience food has been investigated frequently, few studies have investigated the barriers. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Three focus group studies, exploring consumers' ready-to-heat (RTH) meal dilemmas, were conducted in Norway. Findings ‐ The frequency of barriers and four narratives are presented, and the results indicate that consumers face bottom-up dilemmas related to barriers like sensory perception, health, economy, and managing relationships; and/or top-down value dilemmas related to traditions, quality of life and environmental barriers when considering convenience food consumption. Research limitations/implications ‐ This research contributes to the current body of literature, which mainly focuses on drivers of convenience demand, by elaborating on barriers and dilemmas for convenience choice. Practical implications ‐ The findings imply how marketers should communicate with the convenience market. Marketing managers need to understand which barriers to break or what dilemmas to discuss when communicating with the RTH market. Originality/value ‐ By structuring focus group interviews according to the individual respondents ("who said what") and by presenting the data as narratives, the paper shows a new way to analyze focus group interviews.

Keywords: Consumer behaviour; Convenience foods; Decision making; Dilemma; Focus groups; Motivation (psychology)

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-10-19

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