To Buy or Not to Buy Essay

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Debabrata Talukdar & Charles Lindsey To Buy or Not to Buy: Consumers' Demand Response Patterns for Healthy Versus Unhealthy Food The authors integrate research on impulsivity from the psychology area with standard economic theories of consumer demand to make novel predictions about the effects of market price changes on consumers' food consumption behavior. The results from multiple studies confirm that consumers exhibit undesirable asymmetric patterns of demand sensitivity to price changes for healthy and unhealthy food. For healthy food, demand sensitivity is greater for a price increase than for a price decrease. For unhealthy food, the opposite holds true. The research further shows that the undesirable patterns are attenuated or magnified for key policy-relevant factors that have been shown to decrease or increase impulsive purchase behavior, respectively. As the rising obesity trend brings American consumers' food consumption behavior under increased scrutiny, the focal findings hold significant implications for both public policy makers and food marketers. Keywords: pricing, food, health, social networks, fear O besity has recently reached epidemic levels in the United States, and as a result, U.S. consumers' food consumption behavior has come under increased scrutiny (Seiders and Petty 2004). The public health literature suggests that a large percentage of food products purchased from grocery stores are unhealthy (Treuhaft and Karpyn 2010). Thus, a natural public policy imperative is to identify avenues that may nudge consumers from the 124one of the mos ^Significantly different than zero at p < .01 level. ^Comparison with pro-unhealthy prime condition is significant at p < .01 level. ^Significantly different than zero at p < .05 level. «•Comparison with control group is significant at p < .1 level. «Comparison with control group is significant

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