The use of food quality and prestige-based benefits for consumer segmentation
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify consumer segments based on the importance of food quality and prestige benefits when buying food for a special occasion; dinner party with friends.
Design/methodology/approach: Using cluster analysis, the importance of food quality benefits (quality, taste and health) and prestige benefits (prestige quality, hedonic, uniqueness, price and social) were investigated. The consumer segments were profiled using individual consumer characteristics (involvement in luxury, willingness to pay and socio-demographics).
Findings: Food quality benefits are the most important benefits when buying food for a party with friends and the authors identified four distinct consumer segments based on 20 different food quality and prestige benefits: perfectionists, premium, luxury seeking and value focussed. Three of the four consumer segments (perfectionists, premium and luxury seeking) find conventional food quality benefits important but differ in the importance they attribute to the different prestige benefits. The value focussed segment is not driven by prestige consumption but wants high quality at an affordable price.
Research limitations/implications: This study demonstrates that consumers are driven by different food and prestige benefits when buying food for a special occasion.
Originality/value: This study suggest some important differences between premium consumers, looking for food quality and hedonic benefits, and luxury seeking, with a relatively higher focus on prestige quality, uniqueness and social benefits. This study also identifies a significant distinction between perfectionists and value focussed consumers. Both segments are focussed on food quality benefits but differ in their focus on value and prestige benefits.