Examining consumers' risky food consumption behavior in restaurants
The popularity of raw or undercooked foods has continued to grow even though FDA defines them as risky foods. As consumers’ demand for raw or undercooked foods has increased, many restaurants have started to offer these foods as part of their menu. Thus, it is important to understand the reasons and behaviors behind risky food consumption. This dissertation examined risky food consumption behavior from the standpoint of a based on social behavior scale, personality traits, and consumers’ perceptions. The first study showed direct relationships from two social behavioral variables (sensation seeking and emotional brand attachment) to intention to consume risky foods. Consumers who had a higher sensation seeking level (high risk takers) tended to have more intention to consume risky foods in restaurants. When consumers were more emotionally attached to the restaurants, they were more likely to consume risky foods in restaurants. In the second study, consumers’ risky food perception was examined with ten risky food items. The likelihood of eating risky foods was explained by the risky food perception, and the perceived riskiness of foods was affected by three variables: cultural norm, experience, and knowledge. The moderating role of risk taking level was also proved in the relationship between the perceived riskiness of foods and likelihood of eating risky foods. Lastly, personality variables (sense of power and optimism) were adopted to understand consumers’ intention to consume risky foods. The sense of power affected optimism in general and food safety optimism, but only food safety optimism affected the intention to consume risky foods. Thus, an indirect relationship between sense of power and intention to consume risky foods via food safety optimism was proved.
Almanza, Purdue University.
Marketing|Food Science|Public health
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