Although extra-virgin olive oil is a primary component of the Mediterranean diet, there is a limited understanding about whether consumers might purchase this product out of its health properties. Furthermore, prior literature on the impact of health claims (i.e., statements about a food product's positive effects on consumers' health) on consumer behavior revealed mixed and contradictory results, thus casting doubt on their proper use and actual effectiveness. To contribute to this area of research, the present study focuses on extra-virgin olive oil and examines consumers' different reactions, in terms of word-of-mouth and purchase intentions, to functional claims (i.e., those that revolve around the role of a nutrient in the development and preservation of human physiological functions) and risk-related claims (i.e., those that focus on a nutrient's ability to reduce disease risks), by analyzing how health regulatory focus (i.e., individuals' tendency to adopt either an "avoidance" or "approach" self-regulatory strategy for their health) moderates such reactions. An experimental study with a sample of 200 consumers tests two research hypotheses through two moderated mediation analyses. The results show that, compared to functional claims, risk-related claims significantly increase the perceived healthiness of extra-virgin olive oil. This effect is qualified by an interaction between claim type and health regulatory focus, which indicates that risk-related claims are more effective than functional claims only among prevention-focused individuals. Perceived product healthiness, in turn, increase the intention to both spread positive word of mouth and purchase the product. The study sheds light on how consumers might react to different health claims, thus providing insights for food companies and policymakers who want to develop marketing campaigns using claims that are effective at promoting extra-virgin olive oil.

The interplay between health claim type and individual regulatory focus in determining consumers’ intentions toward extra-virgin olive oil

Pino G.;
2020

Abstract

Although extra-virgin olive oil is a primary component of the Mediterranean diet, there is a limited understanding about whether consumers might purchase this product out of its health properties. Furthermore, prior literature on the impact of health claims (i.e., statements about a food product's positive effects on consumers' health) on consumer behavior revealed mixed and contradictory results, thus casting doubt on their proper use and actual effectiveness. To contribute to this area of research, the present study focuses on extra-virgin olive oil and examines consumers' different reactions, in terms of word-of-mouth and purchase intentions, to functional claims (i.e., those that revolve around the role of a nutrient in the development and preservation of human physiological functions) and risk-related claims (i.e., those that focus on a nutrient's ability to reduce disease risks), by analyzing how health regulatory focus (i.e., individuals' tendency to adopt either an "avoidance" or "approach" self-regulatory strategy for their health) moderates such reactions. An experimental study with a sample of 200 consumers tests two research hypotheses through two moderated mediation analyses. The results show that, compared to functional claims, risk-related claims significantly increase the perceived healthiness of extra-virgin olive oil. This effect is qualified by an interaction between claim type and health regulatory focus, which indicates that risk-related claims are more effective than functional claims only among prevention-focused individuals. Perceived product healthiness, in turn, increase the intention to both spread positive word of mouth and purchase the product. The study sheds light on how consumers might react to different health claims, thus providing insights for food companies and policymakers who want to develop marketing campaigns using claims that are effective at promoting extra-virgin olive oil.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/726421
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