Modelling consumer choice through the random regret minimization model: An application in the food domain

Beatrice Biondi*, Ivo A. Van der Lans, Mario Mazzocchi, Arnout R.H. Fischer, Hans C.M. Van Trijp, Luca Camanzi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


In line with findings on post-purchase food-choice regret, one can expect that pre-purchase anticipated regret with respect to forgone (non-chosen) alternatives has an impact on consumer food choices, especially when the choice is considered to be important. The traditional Random Utility Maximization (RUM) models for discrete choices may not fully capture this impact. This study investigates the usefulness and potential in the food domain of a discrete choice model that follows the regret minimization principle, the Random Regret Minimization (RRM) model, as an alternative and complement to existing RUM models. The two models are applied to consumer stated choices of cheese in a choice experiment. The study also investigates whether and to what extent a number of personality traits determine whether particular consumers rather choose according to utility-maximization, or regret-minimization principles. Results show that at the aggregate level the two models have a similar goodness of fit to the data and prediction ability. Still, each of them shows better fit for particular subgroups of consumers, based on personality traits. Hence, the present study reveals a potential for the RRM model applications in the food domain, and adds to the empirical literature supporting previous findings on the RRM model found in other contexts. Further research is needed to explore in which situations and for which consumer segments the RRM model is the most useful model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-109
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • Choice experiment
  • Consumer behaviour
  • Discrete-choice model
  • Food choice
  • Individual differences
  • Regret minimization


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