Consumers' beliefs about whole and refined grain products in the UK, Italy and Finland

Anne Arvola (Corresponding Author), Liisa Lähteenmäki, M. Dean, M. Vassallo, M. Winkelmann, E. Claupein, A. Saba, R. Shepherd

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    88 Citations (Scopus)


    The objective of this study was to increase our understanding of consumers’ product related expectations that may influence their willingness to use whole grain (WG) foods. Consumers’ beliefs about WG and refined grain (RG) product categories were measured, compared and consumers were segmented based on these beliefs.
    Data were collected with self-completion questionnaires in the UK (N=552), Italy (N=504), and Finland (N=513).

    On average, consumers in Finland, Italy and the UK were aware that WG products are healthier than RG products as the WG product category was rated as more nutritionally balanced, healthier, more natural, more filling, releasing energy more slowly and slightly more digestible than the RG product category.
    However, certain consumer segments did not perceive much difference between whole and RG products in their health-related characteristics suggesting a lack of motivation for increasing WG consumption.
    This sets a challenge for promoting WG products especially in Italy and the UK, where the respondents were less likely to differentiate between the healthiness of WG and RG products than the Finnish respondents. Differences between the consumer segments and ways of promoting WG consumption are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)197-206
    JournalJournal of Cereal Science
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2007
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • whole grain
    • cereal foods
    • consumer attitudes
    • beliefs


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