Consumers' Perceptions of Animal-Based Food Products and Advertisements
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Grocery sales circulars influence consumers’ purchasing decision, but limited research has been conducted on them. The purpose of this study was to discover current advertisement trends for animal-based food products then describe and compare the purchasing behaviors of consumers with their personal and environmental determinants. By identifying consumers’ perceptions of animal-based food products and advertisements, consumer-based product development and promotion can be more efficient. First, a quantitative content analysis was performed to quantitatively observe the elements of animal-based food product advertisements in grocery circulars. Second, a questionnaire was distributed in several states in the Western United States to collect data on consumers’ demographics, purchasing behaviors, and reactions to frequently used advertisement elements for animal-based food products. Parallel to the quantitative questionnaire, qualitative interviews were conducted with consumers to supplement the quantitative study with thick-rich descriptions of consumers’ purchasing behaviors and reaction to terms found frequently in advertisements. Quantitative results indicated pork products were advertised most frequently, followed by beef, chicken, turkey, seafood, and lamb products. The majority of animal-based food product advertisements was one-eighth of a page or less with a visual and displayed the brand name and price for the product. Significant differences were found for the purchase of lamb products by consumers’ race, grocery shopping frequency, and area of residence. The purchase of beef, chicken, fish, and lamb products differed by consumer income levels. Advertisements containing cooked animal-based food products had greater appeal to consumers than ones containing raw animal-based food products. The influence of modifying terms including “Gluten Free” and “No Added Hormones” in advertisements differed across generations and income levels. Qualitative results indicated cues of convenience, health, price, and quality influence where consumers shop and what products they purchase. In addition, terms used in animal-based food advertisements equated positive, negative, and skeptical responses from consumers. This study can guide the creation of grocery sales circular advertisements for animal-based food products, but more research is needed to better understand the appeal of products and consumers’ interpretation of advertisement terms.
Froebel, Lindy (2015). Consumers' Perceptions of Animal-Based Food Products and Advertisements. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from