Predicting intentions to consume functional foods and supplements to offset memory loss using an adaptation of protection motivation theory

D.N. Cox, A. Koster, C.G. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

136 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The widespread use of dietary supplements and so-called `functional foods¿ is thought to be partially motivated by self-control of health. However, whilst consumers want foods associated with well-being or disease prevention, they are unlikely to be willing to compromise on taste or technology. This presents a dilemma for promoters of functional foods. Middle-aged consumers' intentions to consume functional foods or supplements that may improve memory were tested within an adaptation of Protection Motivation theory (PMT). Participants evaluated text descriptions of four products described as: having an unpleasant bitter taste (Natural-FF); having `additives¿ to reduce bitterness (Sweetened-FF); being genetically modified to enhance function (GM-FF) and Supplements. Participants were recruited as being of high and low perceived vulnerability to memory failure. In total, 290 middle-aged consumers (aged 40¿60 years) participated in the study. Motivations to consume the GM-FF were the lowest. There were gender differences between intention to consume the supplements, Natural-FF and Sweetened-FF and product differences within genders. Women were less favourable than men in their attitudes towards genetic modification in general. Regression analyses indicated that PM predictors of intention to consume functional foods or supplements explained 59¿63% of the variance (R2). Overall, perceived `efficacy¿ (of the behaviour) and self-efficacy were the most important predictors of intentions to consume
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-64
JournalAppetite
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Keywords

  • taste
  • perceptions
  • behaviors
  • products
  • quality
  • midlife
  • women

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