Consumer decision-making styles in food purchase


*Corresponding author
1. North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, 1601 East Market Street, Department of Agribusiness, Applied Economics and Agriscience Education, Greensboro, NC 27411, USA
2. Ege University, Department of Agricultural Economics, Bornova, Izmir 35100, Turkey


This study sets out to identify consumer shopping behaviour and classify consumers into segments based on their food shopping behaviour. Data were collected from a random sample of 490 respondents. The sample was drawn proportionate to population size from seven southeastern states of the U.S. A modified version of Consumer Style Inventory (CSI), which consisted of 30 items taken from Sproles and Kendall (1) and 13 items from Tai (2); Hou and Lin (3) was used to collect the data. Factor analysis identified 11 dimensions that affect food shopping behaviour. Subsequent cluster analysis isolated four distinct consumer segments: labelled as diverse (47.98%), value-loyal (16.84%), emotional (21.75%) and high conscious (13.43%) consumers. These findings support targeting educational programs to encourage adoption of healthier shopping and dietary habits.


Consumer decision-making style is defined as mental orientations that characterize a consumer’s approach to making consumer choices (1). Decision-making styles can be characterized by the following approaches: The lifestyle (psychographic) approach, which identifies various psychological characteristics that drive consumer choices, general lifestyle activities, interests, and opinions; the consumer typology approach, which defines general consumer types; and the consumer characteristic approach, which emphasizes cognitive and affective mental orientations (1, 4, 5). Sproles and Kendall (1) view decision-making style as a “basic consumer personality”, analogous to the concept of personality in psychology (p. 268).
The goal of this study is to apply dimensions of consumer decision-making style or “shopping personality”, as it relates to food shopping behaviour, to divide consumers into segments based on their decision making styles. Since a key factor in consumers’ shopping behaviour is their decision-making style, the food shopping decisions that consumers make have a direct impact on their nutritional status and levels of ...