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Consumer food choices: the role of price and pricing strategies

  • Ingrid HM Steenhuis (a1), Wilma E Waterlander (a1) and Anika de Mul (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 14 July 2011

To study differences in the role of price and value in food choice between low-income and higher-income consumers and to study the perception of consumers about pricing strategies that are of relevance during grocery shopping.


A cross-sectional study was conducted using structured, written questionnaires. Food choice motives as well as price perceptions and opinion on pricing strategies were measured.


The study was carried out in point-of-purchase settings, i.e. supermarkets, fast-food restaurants and sports canteens.


Adults (n 159) visiting a point-of-purchase setting were included.


Price is an important factor in food choice, especially for low-income consumers. Low-income consumers were significantly more conscious of value and price than higher-income consumers. The most attractive strategies, according to the consumers, were discounting healthy food more often and applying a lower VAT (Value Added Tax) rate on healthy food. Low-income consumers differ in their preferences for pricing strategies.


Since price is more important for low-income consumers we recommend mainly focusing on their preferences and needs.

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