Academic journal article IUP Journal of Brand Management

Healthy Food Behavior and Celebrity Endorsement for Healthy Food Brands: A Study of Indian Housewives

Academic journal article IUP Journal of Brand Management

Healthy Food Behavior and Celebrity Endorsement for Healthy Food Brands: A Study of Indian Housewives

Article excerpt

Use of celebrity to endorse brands is a concept that has been iveil applied by a number of players. The celebrities have a rub-off effect on the brand and help in attaining the desired position in the mind of the consumers. The paper explores how celebrity endorsers can be employed by the healthy food industry to influence the customers. The healthy food industry in India is still at a nascent stage but is showing huge potential. Marketers of these healthy food brands have targeted career men and women offering them relief from lifestyle-induced diseases. There are a myriad of products that cover consumer's nutrition needs from breakfast to dinner The paper is focused on the Indian housewives and how they are influenced in their purchase decision regarding healthy food. To study this, the first part of the paper explores the attitude of the housewives towards healthy food brand purchase. The second part of the study attempts to ascertain the ideal celebrity for endorsing healthy food through the respondent's perception of the celebrity's healthy food consumption behavior The third part delineates some of the celebrity endorsers ivhom the housewives would prefer to endorse the healthy brands on the basis of their perception of the celebrities. The findings of the paper will enable marketers to target housewives more effectively and design a communication strategy that effectively convinces them to purchase the brand.

Introduction

In the recent years, changes in consumer's patterns of living and rising consumer affluence has resulted in the emergence of the healthy food market. The health food market stood at ^9,000 cr in 2010, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20% to ^22,500 cr by 2015 (Technopark, 2012). A number of factors have contributed to the growth in consumption of H&W products in India, primary among them being rising household incomes; increasing consumption of packaged food which is growing at 15-20% annually and is expected to touch $30 bn by 2015 (PTI, 2013) and the growing health concerns due to increasing number of lifestyle disorders like obesity, heart problems, diabetes, etc. Urban consumers are displaying an increased preference for low-fat, low cholesterol and low sugar food intake.

"India has more working women than does any other country in the world. Of the entire workforce of 400 million, 30-35% are female, and of these women, only 20% work in urban India" (Nasscom and Mercer, 2009). The paper focuses on the majority of women who are not employed but are still as empowered as their working counterparts in terms of spending and purchasing power. They are the major influencers in all the big ticket purchase decisions and are responsible for the purchase of daily necessities. Marketers of healthy food cannot overlook this segment if they want to garner a greater share of the market and sustain long-term.

The Indian movie industry has a strong presence in the subcontinent. It is woven into the cultural and social fabric of the country and strongly influences the people. Celebrities have a strong following and influence the consumption patterns of the people. Marketers have long used celebrities to endorse their brands in the hope of building high attention, recall and purchase intention (Hsu and McDonald, 2002). The attractiveness of the celebrity was found to have changed the attitudes and purchase intentions of the consumers (Kahle and Homer, 1985). "Celebrity-product congruence has a positive impact on brand image, which in turn has a positive impact on brand equity" (Jaiprakash, 2008). This paper therefore explores the perception of housewives towards the celebrity endorses for healthy food brands so that celebrity product congruence is high resulting in maximum positive impact for the healthy brand being advertised.

Literature Review

To study the attitude and purchase intentions of consumers in the context of celebrity endorsement studies have been conducted regarding the attractiveness of the product for the consumers and the likability and attractiveness of the celebrity for the consumers (Kahle and Homer, 1985). …

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