Understanding preferences for and consumer behavior toward cheese among a cohort of young, educated, internationally mobile Chinese consumers
Sheehan, Jeremiah J.
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CitationHao Ouyang, Bozhao Li, Mary McCarthy, Song Miao, Kieran Kilcawley, Mark Fenelon, Alan Kelly, Jeremiah J. Sheehan, Understanding preferences for and consumer behavior toward cheese among a cohort of young, educated, internationally mobile Chinese consumers, Journal of Dairy Science, Volume 104, Issue 12, 2021, Pages 12415-12426, ISSN 0022-0302, https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2021-20598.
AbstractThis study explores the experiences of a cohort of young, educated, internationally mobile Chinese consumers with cheese and other dairy products, and how these experiences shape their behavior toward cheese products. In total, 41 Chinese students studying at an Irish university participated in 5 focus groups (n = 41, n = 7–10). Thematic analysis identified important factors that influence consumer behaviors regarding cheese products. Individuals' expectations toward cheese were embedded in their knowledge structures, which were constructed from previous experience. Participants had general positive expectations toward cheese due to associations with western-style foods and nostalgia; however, direct eating experience determined long-term behavior. When making a purchase decision, choice motives were weighed and negotiated to establish a fundamental driving factor for purchase. Perceived probability of choice motive fulfillment was important in determining purchase decisions, with many participants having low perceived ability to select cheese and limited motivation to engage with cheese due to limited perceived relevance of cheese to their daily food life. Individuals' innovativeness was an important factor that influences their openness to cheese products when moving beyond familiar foods. Opportunities exist such as using nostalgic cues as marketing tools to increase consumers' interest in cheese or combining cheese with Chinese food to increase perceived relevance of cheese to their daily food life. Providing information at point of purchase could reduce the disconnect between expectation and actual experience, and innovative cheese products may be developed to better fulfill important choice motives.
FunderDairy Research Ireland
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