Food Choice and the Consumer

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9780751402346: Food Choice and the Consumer

Food Choice and the Consumer fulfils two needs. First, it captures the inter-disciplinary aspects of food choice and advocates an appreciation for other perspectives on the subject in an attempt to discourage some of the disciplinary parochialism which surrounds this area. Second, it accom­ modates a range of different approaches to domestic food choice in a coherent way by encouraging the reader to see food choice as comprising a set of key tasks, such as shopping, preparing, cooking, etc. Further­ more, it illustrates the way in which the antecedents of choice vary according to which stage in the 'decision process' the 'enigmatic' con­ sumer finds him or herself. Food Choice and the Consumer is written for a wide audience including: academics and students interested in food related topics; policy makers, nutritionists and health educators striving to improve the nation's diet; food manufacturers and retailers keen to gain an insight into some of the underlying motivations, concerns and constraints on consumers' food choice. This is not about specific brands, but about consumers and the many factors that influence their choice. Rather than an ABC of food choice, this book aims to stimulate interest while offering the commercial sector, suffering from increasing competition and brand myopia, a fresh perspective on consumer food choice. I hope that this book will con­ tribute to the ongoing debate on food choice and bring us a little closer to understanding how and why consumers choose food.

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This book provides an interdisciplinary survey of food selection and examines each of the stages which the consumer goes through in making choices about what food to include in their daily domestic cuisine. The study of food provisioning is usually confined to the act of supplying food in the food chain, and food choice limited to sensory activities, or the retail arena. This book addresses the consumer tasks of acquiring, preparing, cooking, serving, consuming and finally disposing of food. The 'domestic food provisioning' process is under a wide range of economic, social, nutritional and scientific influences and the book draws material from a variety of disciplines. It illustrates the importance of adopting an 'integrated' approach, and the need to bridge some of the gaps that exist between the pure and social sciences. In the process it brings together an international field of expertise and offers an insight into the nature of consumer choice as an integrated set of activities. Written for those requiring an overview of this subject for commercial or academic reasons, the book provides the food industry with an insight into the demands of its customers and a way of understanding how they may be met. Lecturers and advanced students in food science, nutrition, sociology, psychology, business studies and economics will find it an essential collection of information.

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