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Convenience foods, as portrayed by a consumer organisation. Test-Aankoop/Test-Achats (1960–1995)

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Food choice, both today and in the past, is driven by a broad range of interacting factors, in which culture is centrally placed. This paper will assess convenience foods by means of a qualitative analysis of comparative product tests done by Belgium's largest consumer organisation Test-Aankoop/Test-Achats, and will focus on the influence of socially and culturally normative values between the years 1960 and 1995. The tests provide a unique insight into attitudes to convenience foods within an organisation that saw its role in Belgian consumer society as being both educator and guide. The organisation's views on health, food safety, modernity, tradition, control over ingredients and content, gender roles and taste shaped its attitude to the role and meaning of what food is supposed to be. The organisation thereby both guided and re-affirmed normative values with respect to convenience foods. Values, which are culturally constructed, have always played a key role in the acceptability of products. Cultural and social inhibitions and fears over control of convenience foods, which persist today, were central in the consumer organisation's representation of convenience food.
Tijdschrift: Appetite
ISSN: 0195-6663
Volume: 94
Pagina's: 26-33
Trefwoorden:Convenience foods; Consumer organisation; Qualitative analysis; Cultural values; Cultural history; Food choice