A discussion of the potential of exploiting health claims on the Danish market

Ida Birgitte Boesen

Student thesis: Master thesis


Objective: With health claim’s recent implementation in European Law, the objective of this research was to understand how the Danish consumer will perceive health claims when applied on food products; and how the food production industry should address the Danish market in order to optimize marketing efforts. In order to understand the value of health claims, it is sought answered whether health claims are paternalistic in its effect due to its authority, as this would most likely affect the shopping behavior of the consumer extensively. Design and Setting: This study is a purely theoretical and exploratory discussion. It combines natural science with social science in an attempt to adress the research question by combining theories on consumer behavior, paternalism, neuroeconomics and segmentation theory. The study first looks into present findings within the area of consumer perception of health claims, and then moves through the chosen literature on paternalism, neuroeconomics, segmentation theory, and consumer behavior. In the end a discussion based on a deductive approach is presented. Main outcome findings: Health claims are found paternalistic in its effect on the consumer due to its authority and scientific validation. Furthermore, it is found that corporations should address the controlled consumer segment in order to optimize marketing effort. Thus, this segment will work as a trendsetter and affect other segments (the ordinary and indulgent consumers) with awareness and trustworthiness, as these segments are furthermore highly affected by the paternalistic effect of the health claim, and most likely will behave positively towards its implementation. The resigned consumer however, will not be affected by an applied use of health claims. Conclusion and implications: Health claims are paternalistic, and is therefore highly valuable as a marketing tool on the Danish market, as three out of four consumer segments are expected to perceive health claims positively.

EducationsMSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2013
Number of pages84