Personal, social and economic factors that affect food choice

Personal factors

Personal factors that come into play when choosing food might include:

  • Likes and dislikes – consumers tend to buy products that they like and avoid those that they don't.
  • Age – adolescents may want to purchase a different variety of item than an adult, for example adolescents may prefer sugary chocolate sweets while adults may go for high quality dark chocolate bars.
  • Lifestyle – consumers with children may purchase more child friendly products, for example those low in sugar, than consumers without children.
  • Occupation – consumers with higher paid jobs may go for brand items, while those on a lower wage may opt for own brand choices like Asda Smart Price, Sainsbury's Basics or Tesco Everyday Value.

Social factors

As consumers we are influenced by those around us, therefore we may tend to purchase what our friends or family purchase.

For example, adult consumers may be influenced by advice from friends on where to shop for the best value, while adolescent consumers may want the latest fizzy drink that all their friends are buying.

Economic Factors

The amount of money we have influences our purchases.

Consumers with a high income can afford to spend money on luxury foods - like prawns or fillet steak. They may often shop at a high end retailer like Marks and Spencer.

Consumers on a tight budget due to a low income or large family, may tend to spend money in cheaper outlets such as Lidl or Asda. They may also buy own brand products in order to save money.