you ate a food and then felt sick, you are more likely to avoid that food in the future).
Personal value: May avoid eating certain foods because of personal beliefs/values (e.g., may
avoid red meat or may choose organic foods over conventionally grown products)
Weight, health, nutritional value: choosing foods that we perceive to be “good for us”
Personal preference: choosing food because of taste
Occupation: can influence the pattern of eating that we follow. For example, if we work shift work,
we eat our meals at a different time
Cultural/ethnic factors: every culture has typical foods and ways of preparing them. Food
beliefs, customs, attitudes and taboos affect the diet and determine what foods are
We tend to view our own patterns of behaviour as being right, normal and superior and this can
influence our food choices.
Ex. People in Scotland eat porridge, however some British people will not, as they believe
oats are for animal consumption, not for humans.
Ex. In Mexico, corn is a staple food, however many Europeans believe that corn is for
chickens, not people.
Ethnocentrism: the belief that one’s own pattern of behaviour is preferred over those of
Cultural Relativism: an approach of understanding and accepting other cultures. Recognizing
that values and beliefs can differ, based on culture, but that are all equal.
Food Consumption Trends
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada have made predictions as to Canadian food trends that will
be seen up to 2020:
Aging Canadians: It is projected that there will be more seniors and fewer children in the
Canadian population in 2020 then we have seen in past years. This will influence the types of
food that there is demand for in the population.
An Evolving Society: It is predicted that brand names will become less of a status symbol,
and will be used by consumers to express individuality. Other changes in society are also
expected to affect food choices, including decreased family size, environmental awareness,
globalization, and participation in the workforce.
Changing Meal Patterns: Food preparation is predicted to decline, with a shift towards small,
frequent meals or snacks instead of three meals a day. This would result in a greater demand for
more portable food options.
Shifting Expenditures: It is forecast that the decline in amount of disposal income spent on
food will continue to 2020. This is expected to impact the frequency that Canadians visit
Food for Health: The most significant health conditions expected to drive food choices are
obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
The Educated Consumer: Consumers will be more conscious of what is in their foods
through label reading, with focus on: