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An understanding of the process by which consumers match consumption choices to personal values is powerful aid to guide strategic market orientation. It is of particular importance in the highly saturated food markets of developed countries, where consumer needs are shifting closer and closer towards the search for quality and emotional benefits. This study sets out to explore variation in the consumer choice structure in relation to three products with different levels of search, experience and credence attributes, using means-end chain theory. The results suggest the presence of an emotional component in foods that increases in complexity (becomes more abstract) with the number of credence attributes associated with the product; a fact worthy of the consideration of product managers when designing marketing strategies.


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