Determinants of purchase intention of Functional Food in Thailand: A Study on Young Adults

Main Article Content

Paul Kalin


The increasing number of health conscious consumers has led to a growing demand of functional food in Thailand. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of perceived food quality attributes, food motives and health consciousness on the purchase intention of functional food.

The data were collected from 400 young adult consumers aging from 18 - 45 years old, living in Greater Bangkok, who consume functional food on a regular basis, using the convenience sampling approach. The data were then analyzed through descriptive and regression analysis.

The results indicated that perceived food quality attributes, food motives as well as health consciousness have a significant effect on purchase intention.

This study makes an important academic contribution to the understanding of young adults’ behavioral intention towards functional food in Thailand. This study also provides useful insights for product design, marketing activities as well as branding strategies of functional food in order to trigger purchase intention of their consumers.

This research is limited by the area scope as well as the nature and the number of determinants. Future research can focus on other areas in Thailand and also examine other determinants of purchase intention.

Article Details



Ahmad, M., Jamil, A., Latif, K., Ramayah, T., Ai Leen, J., Memon, M., & Ullah, R. (2019). Using food choice motives to model Pakistani ethnic food purchase intention among tourists. British Food Journal, 122(6), 1731-1753.

Amin, S. & Tarun, M.T. (2022). Boosting ecological food consumption behavior among millennials: role of health consciousness, perceived consumer effectiveness and ethical self-identity. Management of Environmental Quality, 33(6), 1344-1361.

Ares, G. & Gambaro, A. (2007). Influence of gender, age and motives underlying food choice on perceived healthiness and willingness to try functional foods. Appetite, 49(1), 148-158.

Banovic, M., & Otterbring, T. (2021). Athletic abs or big bellies: The impact of imagery, arousal levels, and health consciousness on consumers’ attitudes towards plant- based protein products. Food Quality and Preference, 87, 104067.

Bazhan, M., Kalantari, N., Keshavarz-Mohammadi, N., Hosseini, H., Eini-Zinab, H. & Alavi-Majd, H. (2018). Applying social marketing mix to identify consumers’ preferences towards functional dairy products in Iran. Nutrition and Food Science, 48(1), 45-60.

Bazhan, M., Keshavarz-Mohammadi, N., Hosseini, H., & Kalantari, N. (2016). Consumers’ awareness and perceptions regarding functional dairy products in Iran. British Food Journal, 119(2), 253-266.

Bigliardi, B. & Galati, F. (2013). Innovation trends in the food industry: the case of functional foods. Trends in Food Science and Technology, 31(2), 118-129.

Brecic, R., Gorton, M., & Barjolle, D. (2012). Understanding variations in the consumption of functional foods –evidence from Croatia. British Food Journal, 116(4), 662-675.

Bukhari, S.F.H., Woodside, F.M., Hassan, R., Ali, O.M.S.H., Hussain, S. & Waqas, R. (2021). Intrinsic and extrinsic attributes that drive Muslim consumer purchase behavior: A study in the context of Western imported food. Journal of Islamic Marketing, 12(1), 70-94.

Chen, M. F. (2011). The joint moderating effect of health consciousness and healthy lifestyle on consumers’ willingness to use functional foods in Taiwan. Appetite, 57(1), 253–262

Dowd, K. & Burke, K.J. (2013). The influence of ethical values and food choice motivations on intentions to purchase sustainably sourced foods. Appetite, 69(10), 137-144.

Espejel, J., Fandos, C., & Flavián, C. (2007). The role of intrinsic and extrinsic quality attributes on consumer behaviour for traditional food products. Managing Service Quality, 17(6), 681-701.

Evans, J.R. & Mathur, A. (2018). The value of online surveys: a look back and a look ahead", Internet Research, 28(4), 854-887.

Ghoochani, O.M., Torabi, R., Hojjati, M., Ghanian, M., & Kitterlin, M. (2018). Factors influencing Iranian consumers’ attitudes toward fast-food consumption. British Food Journal, 120(2), 409-423.

Ghvanidze, S. Velikova, N. Dodd, T. & Oldewage-Theron, W. (2017). A discrete choice experiment of the impact of consumers’ environmental values, ethical concerns, and health consciousness on food choices. A cross-cultural analysis. British Food Journal, 119(4), 863-881.

Hair, J., Page, M., & Brunsveld, N. (2019). Essentials of business research methods (4th ed.). New York: Routledge.

Hassan, H., Sade, A.B. & Subramaniam, L.S. (2020). Purchasing functional foods to stay fit. Journal of Humanities and Applied Social Sciences, 2(1), 3-18.

Hsu, S.-Y., Chang, C.-C. & Lin, T.T. (2016). An analysis of purchase intentions toward organic food on health consciousness and food safety with/under structural equation modeling. British Food Journal, 118(1), 200-216.

Huang, C.-H. (2014). Relationships between Consumers’ Nutritional Knowledge, Social Interaction, and Health-conscious Correlates toward the Restaurants. Journal of International Management Studies, 9, 59-67.

Husic-Mehmedovic, M., Arslanagic-Kalajdzic, M., Kadic-Maglajlic, S. & Vajnberger, Z. (2017). Live, Eat, Love: life equilibrium as a driver of organic food purchase. British Food Journal, 119(7), 1410-1422.

Irene Goetzke, B., & Spiller, A. (2014). Health-improving lifestyles of organic and functional food consumers. British Food Journal, 116(3), 510-526.

Japutra, A., Vidal-Branco, M., Higueras-Castillo, E. & Molinillo, S. (2022). Unraveling the mechanism to develop health consciousness from organic food: a cross-comparison of Brazilian and Spanish millennials. British Food Journal, 124(1), 197-220.

Jin, N., Line, N.D., & Lee, S-M. (2017). The health conscious restaurant consumer. Understanding the experiential and behavioral effects of health concern. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 29(8), 2103-2120.

Konuk, F. (2018). Antecedents of pregnant women’s purchase intentions and willingness to pay a premium for organic food. British Food Journal, 120(7), 1561-1573.

Kraus, A. (2015a). Factors influencing the decisions to buy and consume functional food. British Food Journal, 117(6), 1622-1636.

Kraus, A. (2015b). Development of functional food with the participation of the consumer. Motivators for consumption of functional products. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 39(1), 2–11.

Lee, K.H., Bonn, M.A. & Cho, M. (2015). Consumer motives for purchasing organic coffee. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 27(6), 1157-1180.

Lee, K., Conklin, M., Cranage, D.A., & Lee, S. (2014). The role of perceived corporate social responsibility on providing healthful foods and nutrition information with health consciousness as a moderator. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 37, 29-37.

Lian, S.B. (2017). What motivates consumers to purchase organic food in Malaysia? Asian Social Science, 13(9), 100-109.

Lim, H. & An, S. (2021). Intention to purchase wellbeing food among Korean consumers: an application of the theory of planned behavior. Food Quality and Preference, 88, 104101.

Maehle, N., Iversen, N., Hem, L. & Otnes, C. (2015). Exploring consumer preferences for hedonic and utilitarian food attributes, British Food Journal, 117(12), 3039-3063.

Memery, J., Angell, R., Megicks, P., & Lindgreen, A. (2015). Unpicking motives to purchase locally-produced food: analysis of direct and moderation effects. European Journal of Marketing, 49(7/8), 1207-1233.

Micale, R., Giallanza, A., Enea, M. & La Scalia, G. (2018). Economic assessment based on scenario analysis for the production of a new functional pasta. Journal of Food Engineering, 237, 171-176.

Milosevic, J., Zezelj, I., Gorton, M. & Barjolle, D. (2012). Understanding the motives for food choice in Western Balkan Countries. Appetite, 58(1), 205-214.

Miranda, J.M., Anton, X., Redondo-Valbuena, C., Roca-Saavedra, P., Rodriguez, J.A., Lamas, A., Franco, C.M. & Cepeda, A. (2015). Egg and egg-derived foods: effects on human health and use as functional foods. Nutrients, 7(1), 706-729.

Mohamad, S., Rusdi, S., & Hashim, N. (2014). Organic Food Consumption among Urban Consumers: Preliminary Results. Procedia - Social And Behavioral Sciences, 130, 509-514.

Nguyen, H.V., Nuguyen, N., Nguyen, B.K., Lobo, A. & Vu, P.A. (2019). Organic food purchases in an emerging market: the influence of consumers’ personal factors and green marketing practices of food stores. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16, 10-37.

Oliveira, D., Machín, L., Deliza, R., Rosenthal, A., Walter, E.H., Giménez, A. & Ares, G. (2016). Consumers’ attention to functional food labels: insights from eye-tracking and change detection in a case study with probiotic milk. Lwt - Food Science and Technology, 68, 160-167.

Pacho, F. (2020). What influences consumers to purchase organic food in developing countries? British Food Journal, 122(12), 3695-3709.

Piggford, T., Raciti, M., Harker, D., & Harker, M. (2008). Young adults' food motives: an Australian social marketing perspective. Young Consumers, 9(1), 17-28.

Rana, J. & Paul, J. (2017). Consumer behavior and purchase intention for organic foods: a review and research agenda. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 38, 157-165.

Roberfroid, M.B. (2000a). A European consensus of scientific concepts of functional foods. Nutrition, 16(7-8), 689-691.

Roberfroid, M.B. (2000b). Concepts and strategy of functional food science: the European perspective. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 71(S6), S1660-S1664.

Salvatore, F., Adamashvili, N., & Contò, F. (2021). Factors affecting consumer purchasing behavior of functional food: a comparative analysis for consumer management. British Food Journal, 124(5), 1519-1536.

Schnettler, B., Sepúlveda, N., Bravo, S., Grunert, K.G. & Hueche, C. (2018). Consumer acceptance of a functional processed meat product made with different meat sources. British Food Journal, 120(2), 424-440.

Shimul, A.S., Cheah, I., & Lou, A.J. (2021). Regulatory focus and junk food avoidance: The influence of health consciousness, perceived risk and message framing. Appetite, 166, 105428.

Shin, J. & Mattila, A.S. (2019). When organic food choices shape subsequent food choices: The interplay of gender and health consciousness. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 76, 94-101.

Siegrist, M., Bearth, A., & Hartmann, C. (2022). The impacts of diet-related health consciousness, food disgust, nutrition knowledge, and the Big Five personality traits on perceived risks in the food domain. Food Quality And Preference, 96, 104441.

Singhal, N. (2017), A Study of Consumer Behavior Towards Organic Food and the Moderating Effects of Health Consciousness. The IUP Journal of Marketing Management, 16(3) 45-79

Slack, N.J., Singh, G., Ali, J., Lata, R., Mudaliar, K. & Swamy, Y. (2021). Influence of fast-food restaurant service quality and its dimensions on customer perceived value, satisfaction and behavioural intentions. British Food Journal, 123(4), 1324-1344.

Steptoe, A., Pollard, T. & Wardle, J. (1995). Development of a measure of the motives underlying the selection of food: the food choice questionnaire. Appetite, 25(3), 267-284.

Tan, B.C., Lau, T.C., Sarwar, A. & Khan, N. (2022). The effects of consumer consciousness, food safety concern and healthy lifestyle on attitudes toward eating “green”. British Food Journal, 124(4), 1187-1203.

Vecchio, R., Van Loo, E.J. and Annunziata, A. (2016). Consumers’ willingness to pay to conventional, organic and functional yogurt: evidence from experimental auctions. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 40(3), 368-378.

Wang, E., Gao, Z. & Chen, X. (2022). Chinese consumer preference for processed food quality attributes and the impact of trust in information sources. British Food Journal, 124(3), 871-884.

Wang, E.S.-T. & Yu, J.-R. (2016). Effect of product attribute beliefs of ready-to-drink coffee beverages on consumer-perceived value and repurchase intention. British Food Journal, 118(12), 2963-2980.

Wang, J., Pham, T., & Dang, V. (2020). Environmental Consciousness and Organic Food Purchase Intention: A Moderated Mediation Model of Perceived Food Quality and Price Sensitivity. International Journal Of Environmental Research And Public Health, 17(3), 850.

Wang, J., Tao, J., & Chu, M. (2020). Behind the label: Chinese consumers’ trust in food certification and the effect of perceived quality on purchase intention. Food Control, 108, 106825.

Wang, O. & Scrimgeour, F. (2022). Consumer segmentation and motives for choice of cultured meat in two Chinese cities: Shanghai and Chengdu. British Food Journal, ahead-of-print, ahead-of-print.

Wang, T.-S., Liang, A.R.-D., Ko, C.-C. & Lin, J.-H. (2021). The importance of region of origin and geographical labeling for tea consumers: the moderating effect of traditional tea processing method and tea prices. Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, 34(6), 1158-1177.

Yadav, R., & Pathak, G. (2016). Intention to purchase organic food among young consumers: Evidences from a developing nation. Appetite, 96, 122-128.