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Abstract

Over the last decade consumers’ health consciousness is becoming an important factor driving the agrofood market. Healthier food products have entered the global markets with force in the past years and rapidly gained market share. Consequently, the food industry has reacted to this trend by developing a growing variety of new products with health-related claims and images, including organic and functional foods that are selected by consumers for their health-promoting properties. Currently, the healthy foods and drinks market is performing well, in terms of innovation and market penetration; healthy foods in Europe have a turnover of € 5.7 billion. Different researches conclude that a better understanding of consumers' perception of healthy foods and its determinants are key success factors for market orientation and development and for successfully negotiating market opportunities. The research proposes a survey of 300 Italian consumers in order to understand attitudes towards healthy foods, with particular reference to organic and functional products, through the implementation of a cluster analysis. The main aim of this paper is to derive indications that may contribute to better strategic and tactical marketing decisions. The findings of this study are also important for government bodies interested in designing public health programs.

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