Healthy eating is often substituted by easily accessible snack foods that are high in saturated fat, as well as salt and sugar. By uncovering consumer’s expectations towards healthy food, this work proposes the design of a new product - healthy snack bars - as an alternative to unhealthy snacks. Based on a sample of adult coeliac and health conscious people, our study breaks consumers’ expectations down into a set of themes, which represent the ideal product’s objective and subjective features. The empirical study combines two qualitative methods (free word associations and collage creation) and a questionnaire in an explorative setting to retrieve conscious and unconscious feelings of consumer’s decision making. The findings suggest that taste and social inclusion are the characteristics of an ideal healthy snack bar for coeliacs, while self-indulgence is the most salient theme for health conscious consumers. We discuss the implications of these results in terms of nutrition and development of a new product.
Keywords: Coeliacs, health conscious consumers, snacking, mixed methods