Department of Management

Measuring Meaning of Food in Life

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This chapter introduces the means-end approach to the analysis of the meaning that food has to people. Food has meaning for people because of the goals that they attach to food and eating, and research shows that these goals are many and diverse, extending far beyond the basic goal of nutrition and survival. The means-end approach can be used to analyze the meaning that people attach to a particular food product or the meaning that people attach to food in general. For the former, the laddering interview technique is usually used, and results are presented in so-called hierarchical value maps, and several examples are presented. For the latter, food-related lifestyle is a survey instrument that maps the role that food has for people in attaining life values. The main use of this instrument has been for segmentation, and a number of generic segments are presented that emerge from numerous studies that have used this instrument. The chapter closes with perspectives for future work in measuring the meaning of food in life.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Eating and Drinking
EditorsH. Meiselman
Number of pages18
Publication year2020
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-75388-1
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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