Contemporary young consumers and food consumption: Implications for Social Marketing Research

Liudmila Tarabashkina, Roberta Crouch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Marketing has undergone profound changes during the past 30 years with a shift from television advertising to digital marketing and development of more engaging campaigns between brands and individuals. This change has also affected young consumers (i.e. children aged less than 13 years), who attracted marketers’ attention in the mid-1980s, who have ever since been marketing aggressively to this group across multiple media channels, engaging in the so-called "cradle-to-grave" marketing. Research shows that exposure to food advertising is associated with biased product evaluations extending into adulthood and the last two decades have also noted a substantial increase in the rates of childhood obesity and overweight levels worldwide. Although research about young consumers and their food consumption started more than 40 years ago, current discussion centres predominantly around the impact of food advertising on children and extant knowledge remains fragmented and inconclusive in relation to a number of external, as well as internal influences. In particular, it is still unclear how children choose healthy and less healthy foods under the influence of different socialisation agents and their own consumer knowledge about advertising or nutrition. Extant gaps impede effective policy development and successful social marketing campaigns since the full extent of children’s susceptibility to food advertising remains unclear. This paper was inspired by work conducted under PhD candidature supervision by Prof. Pascale Quester and provides a review of social marketing literature to highlight the gaps in our knowledge and delineate important directions for future social marketing research in relation to young consumers’ food consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMaking a Difference Through Marketing
Subtitle of host publicationA Quest for Diverse Perspectives
EditorsCarolin Plewa, Jodie Conduit
Place of PublicationSingapore
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9789811004643
ISBN (Print)9789811004629
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Food consumption
  • Gaps
  • Review
  • Young consumers


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