Chinese Consumers’ Perceptions of Functional Foods: A Netnography Study of Foods that Help the Immune System Recover from Air Pollution
Cong, Lei; Bremer, Phil; Mirosa, Miranda
In China, persistent and severe episodes of poor air quality have raised the population’s awareness of the deleterious impact that air pollution can have on their health and lead many people to explore physical means to limit their exposure to air pollution and therapies to help their immune system cope with this stress. Using a netnographic approach we explored Chinese consumers’ understandings of the impacts on their health caused by air pollution, and the key attributes (expected benefits, forms, and patterns of consumption) they expect of functional foods designed to help them recover from the pollution-driven impact. Relevant Chinese consumers’ discussions were selected from two Community Question Answering websites, “Zhihu” and “Baidu Knows”. The impact of pollution on the respiratory system was considered to be of the most concern and homemade TCM therapies and diet adjustment were the main forms of remedies discussed online. Results from this study will support the commercial success of functional food products designed to help Chinese consumers recover from the impact of air pollution on their health.
Rights Statement: https://doi.org/10.1080/10454446.2019.1626316
Keywords: Functional foods; Chinese consumers; netnography; Air pollution; immune health
Research Type: Journal Article