Influences on food choice perceived to be important by nationally-representative samples of adults in the European Union
Lennernäs, M.; Fjellström, C.; Becker, W.; Giachetti, I.; Schmitt, A.; Remaut de Winter, A.; Kearney, M.
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 51(Suppl): S8-S15
ISSN/ISBN: 0954-3007 PMID: 9222718 Accession: 002873385
Objective: The purpose of this baseline survey was to obtain comparable data on perceived influences on food choice from EU member countries as the starting point for EU healthy eating promotion campaigns and programmes. Design: A cross-sectional study in which quota-controlled, nationally-representative samples of approximately 1000 adults from each country completed a face-to-face interview-assisted questionnaire. Setting: The survey was conducted between October 1995 and February 1996 in the 15 member states of the European Union. Subjects: 14 331 subjects (aged 15 y upwards) completed the questionnaire. Data were weighted by population size for each country and by sex, age and regional distribution within each member state. Results: The five most important factors influencing consumers food choice were 'quality or freshness' (74%), 'price' (43%), 'taste' (38%), 'trying to eat healthy' (32%) and 'family preferences' (29%). Subjects in different categories (age, sex, education and employment status) selected different factors as having major influence on their food choice. Demographic factors seemed to have greater effects on perceived influences than culture (country): 'quality/freshness', 'price', 'trying to eat healthy', 'family preferences' seemed to be most important in women, 'taste' and 'habit' in males. Females and older and more educated subjects were more likely than other subjects to select 'trying to eat healthy' as having a major influence. 'Price' seemed most important in unemployed and retired subjects.