Worldwide, the group of older persons is growing fast. To aid this important group in their food and meal requirements, a deeper insight into the expectations and experiences of these persons regarding their mealtimes and snack times is needed. In the current study, we aim to identify consumer segments within the group of vital community-dwelling older persons on the basis of the emotions they associate with their mealtimes and snack times (from now on referred to as mealtimes). Participants (n¿=¿392, mean age 65.8 (years)¿±¿5.9 (SD)) completed an online survey. The survey consisted of three questionnaires: emotions associated with mealtimes, functionality of mealtimes, and psychographic characteristics (health and taste attitudes, food fussiness, and food neophobia). Consumer segments were identified and characterised based on the emotions that the respondents reported to experience at mealtimes, using a hierarchical cluster analysis. Clusters were described using variables previously not included in the cluster analysis, such as functionality of mealtimes and psychographic characteristics. Four consumer segments were identified: Pleasurable averages, Adventurous arousals, Convivial indulgers, and Indifferent restrictives. These segments differed significantly in their emotional associations with mealtimes both in valence and level of arousal. The present study provides actionable insights for the development of products and communication strategies tailored to the needs of vital community-dwelling older persons.
- food neophobia
- olfactory impairment
- eating behavior
den Uijl, L. C., Jager, G., de Graaf, C., Waddell, W. J., & Kremer, S. (2014). It is not just a meal, it is an emotional experience – A segmentation of older persons based on the emotions that they associate with mealtimes. Appetite, 83, 287-296. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2014.09.002