New research links key marketing factors to quality of food purchases

Breakthrough research by Kusum Ailawadi, professor of Marketing at the Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth, can change the way companies think about marketing their products to consumers and shows that, contrary to most current corporate marketing approaches, low-sugar products will be on the rise.

The study sends a key message to companies producing sugary food and drink products: there is a huge need to create healthier and more affordable products as an alternative diet. Additionally, the findings reinforce the idea of consumers evolving towards health conscious purchases as a whole.

The research also examines changes in food intake patterns in a household following the diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes in one of its members. Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease strongly linked with the expanding international epidemic of obesity.

In the past, researchers relied on diabetic patients’ self-reported records of eating habits and often led to skewed results. The method used by Kusum and her colleagues in collecting data for this study is a first in the industry. Using a scanner that tracks what people buy at the grocery store, they monitored purchases from 40,000 households during a four-year period before and after a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes.

Ailawadi’s findings hold importance for marketers, consumers, consumer researchers and public health professionals. Following are some of the key points of the study:

The key points of the study:

Photo by Dean Hochman

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