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Asymmetric demand patterns for products with added nutritional benefits and products without nutritional benefits.

Yan, J. and Tian, K. and Heravi, S. and Morgan, P. (2016) 'Asymmetric demand patterns for products with added nutritional benefits and products without nutritional benefits.', European journal of marketing., 50 (9/10). pp. 1672-1702.


Purpose This paper investigates consumers’ demand patterns for products with nutritional benefits and products with no nutritional benefits across processed healthy and unhealthy foods. We integrate price changes (i.e. increases and decreases) into a demand model and quantify their relative impact on the quantity of food purchased. Firstly, we investigate how demand patterns vary across processed healthy and unhealthy products; secondly, we examine how demand patterns vary across nutrition-benefited products (NB) and non-nutrition-benefited products (NNB); and thirdly, we investigate how consumers respond to price increases and decreases for NB across processed healthy and unhealthy foods. Design/methodology/approach We propose a demand model quantifying scenarios for price changes in consumer food choice behaviour, and controlling for heterogeneity at household, store and brand levels. Findings Consumers exhibit greater sensitivity to price decreases and less sensitivity to price increases across both processed healthy and unhealthy foods. Moreover, the research shows that consumers’ demand sensitivity is greater for non-nutrition-benefited products (NNB) than for nutrition-benefited products (NB), supporting our prediction that NB has higher brand equity than NNB. Furthermore, the research shows that consumers are more responsive to price decreases than price increases for processed healthy NB foods, but more responsive to price increases than price decreases for unhealthy NB foods. The findings suggest that consumers exhibit a desirable demand pattern for products with nutritional benefits. Originality/value Although studies on the effects of nutritional benefits on demand have proliferated in recent years, researchers have only estimated their impact without considering the effect of price changes. This paper contributes by examining consumers’ price sensitivity for nutrition-benefited products (NB) across processed healthy and unhealthy foods based on consumer scanner data, considering both directionalities of price changes.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This article is © Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Date accepted:09 June 2016
Date deposited:19 August 2016
Date of first online publication:12 September 2016
Date first made open access:12 September 2016

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