Do only rich people eat healthy?

Health-conscious consumers are a sought-after market segment by manufacturers and retailers alike. But how large is the health-conscious segment? How price sensitive is it? In addition, what are the influences of consumer demographic characteristics on a consumer’s health consciousness? To answer these questions, we control for covariates such as price, distinguish health consciousness from intrinsic preferences, and assess purchases over multiple categories with multiple nutritional attributes. We estimate a multi-category brand choice model using purchase history of a large sample of households (1062) in ten commonly purchased grocery categories. We find that health-conscious households constitute 18% of the market and that the more health conscious a household is, the less price sensitive it is. We also show that the following household demographic characteristics have strong impacts on a household’s health consciousness: household income, house ownership, employment status of male household head, education level of male household head, presence of young children in the household, and the ethnicity of the household.

Source: “What can grocery basket data tell us about health consciousness?” from International Journal of Research in Marketing, Volume 25, Issue 4, December 2008, Pages 301-309

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