by Zsófia Nábrádi
The worldwide proportion of food supplement consumers has been steadily increasing, more than 50% of the Hungarian population tends to buy at least one type of dietary supplement. In most cases, the purchase and consumption of food supplements are not based on medical indications but depends on consumers’ individual decisions. The study of consumer groups enables the investigation of typicalities which have an impact on attitudes related to the consumption of food additives. The present study explores the demographical factors determining the global consumption of dietary supplements by secondary research. It sought to explore the typical features of consumer lifestyles in line with the research findings, based on previously specified criteria, through qualitative focus group examinations. My study focused on subjects who bought and purchased at least one type of food supplement in the previous year and placed a high emphasis on healthy diet and lifestyle in their everyday lives. The consumption of dietary supplements indicates growth with age and it is more common among women. Consumers with higher qualifications and incomes tend to buy products with vitamins and minerals in a greater proportion. The identification of nutrition factors revealed that the proportion of those who do not need extra nutrient intake is high among food supplement consumers. It is primarily true of women having a healthy lifestyle (they typically consume high amounts of vegetables and fruits, they are physically active, non-smokers and do not use alcohol); moreover, their socio-economic status is typically high. The findings of my quantitative research suggest that the purchase and consumption of dietary supplements are most characteristic of the “Successful”, “Quality oriented- successful” and “Loyal to the brand – modest” groups in the lifestyle-based consumer segments. The investigated sample showed ambiguous attitudes towards product quality and willingness to pay in all the three batches. Nevertheless, it can be established, when consumers buy food supplements, brand sensitivity proves to be a dominant factor in addition to – typically Hungarian – price sensitivity. Based on lifestyle factors, the current research may bring us closer to the exploration of the motivational and attitude patterns of consumers’ food supplement purchases.
APSTRACT, Vol 11. Number 3-4. 2017.