Consumers' attitudes and intentions toward consuming functional foods in Norway

Consumers' attitudes and intentions toward consuming functional foods in Norway


Bjørn Tore Nystrand, Svein Ottar Olsen


Food Quality and Preference


Møre og Romsdal fylkeskommune

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Vitenskaplige Artikler

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This study investigates antecedents of consumers attitudes and intentions to eating functional foods in a representative sample of Norwegian consumers (N = 810). The theory of planned behavior (TPB), with an extension of self-efficacy and descriptive norms and, as well, hedonic and utilitarian eating values, is used as a conceptual framework. Structural equation modeling (SEM) is applied to test the hypothesized relationships. The findings differed significantly between the basic and extended model, particularly for the perceived behavioral control (PBC) constructs. Perceived control over behavior was insignificantly related to intention and consumption frequency in the basic model and significantly negatively related in the extended model. The inclusion of self-efficacy, conceptualized as confidence in the ability to consume functional foods regularly, proved to be the most important explanatory factor of intention. Descriptive and injunctive norms were both significant and relatively strong predictors of intention. However, injunctive norms lost explanatory power when descriptive norms were included in the structural model. The strong influence of attitude on intention also diminished in the extended model. Utilitarian eating values clearly outperformed hedonic eating values as a basis for explaining consumer attitude toward eating functional foods. Whereas utilitarian eating values were strongly and positively associated with participants attitude toward the consumption of functional foods, hedonic eating values were less strongly and negatively related to attitude. Thus, the food industry needs to improve the hedonic value of functional foods to commercially succeed.