Food literacy and food choice – a survey-based psychometric profiling of consumer behaviour

Leopoldo Trieste, Andrea Bazzani, Alessia Amato, Ugo Faraguna, Giuseppe Turchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the associations between food literacy, consumer profiling and purchasing behaviour in a sample of Italian consumers. Design/methodology/approach: Participants (N = 194) completed an online survey including personal data, two questionnaires on purchase behaviour and food consumption, the General Trust Scale (GTS), a questionnaire assessing individual chronotype and two scales about food literacy: one investigating nutritional knowledge (short food literacy questionnaire, SFLQ) and the other focussing on procedural skills (self-perceived food literacy scale, SPFL). Associations between food literacy, consumer profiling and purchase behaviour were analysed with linear regression models. Findings: Participants with specific education in nutrition reported higher scores in food literacy. The final score of food literacy was predicted by a greater attention to nutritional content and nutritional properties of products. Women paid more attention to nutritional properties than men, and they obtained higher scores in SFLQ. Evening types obtained lower scores in SFPL compared to intermediate and morning chronotypes. Body mass index (BMI) was negatively correlated to SPFL score, while it was associated with the easy availability of a product, so that obese (BMI ≥ 30) subjects considered the easy availability of a product more important compared to non-obese ones (BMI < 30). Originality/value: This study investigates the influence of personal and psychometric variables of consumer profiling on food literacy and consequently on purchase behaviour, paving the way for implementing healthier food consumption policies. These findings reinforce the primacy of specific education in building healthy eating habits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-141
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Food Journal
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Chronotype
  • Consumer behaviour
  • Consumer profiling
  • Food choice
  • Food literacy
  • Health promotion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)


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