Chair of Marketing

Health Marketing

Health Money_01In industrial nations, consumers attach more and more relevance to their mental and physical well-being. Due to emerging attitude towards health and given the demographic change, there is a steady rise in demand for healthcare products and services. For those reasons, the department of marketing has intensified its research activities in this field.

What is Health Marketing about?

Definition Health Marketing

Health marketing pertains to all activities that aim increase healthier behaviors and/or develop, distribute, communicate and set prices for health-related products and services. When developing and implementing those activities, special attention is directed to physiological and psychological aspects, such as motives for health-conscious behavior, as well as economic aspects, such as regulations by policy makers in the market for health-related products and services.

Source: Mai/Hoffmann/Schwarz (2012): Gesundheitsmarketing: Schnittstelle von Marketing, Gesundheitsökonomie und Gesundheitspsychologie, p. 11. (Translated from German into English)

Health Marketing_01

Source: Mai/Hoffmann/Schwarz (2012): Gesundheitsmarketing: Schnittstelle von Marketing, Gesundheitsökonomie und Gesundheitspsychologie, p. 10. (Figure translated from German into English)

What are the questions the department is dealing with?

In the field of “Health Marketing“, we put great emphasis on finding new ways for overcoming the barriers of a healthy diet. We are particularly interested in the following questions:

  • Health-conscious consumer behavior:
    e.g., under what conditions are consumption choices of consumers supportive or detrimental for their health?
  • Health Marketing:
    e.g., what is the market potential arising from the trend of a health-conscious lifestyle?
  • Health communication and prevention:
    e.g., how can consumers be nudged to a more healthy lifestyle by product development and communication?

Are there current projects concerning this topic?

  • Prof. Dr. Stefan Hoffmann, Dr. Robert Mai and Dr. Uta Schwarz published a special edition on Health Marketing in the International Journal of Marketing (2013, Vol. 13, No. 1). For more information about the special edition click...
  • Member of the Europe-wide research initiative JPI “Joint Programming Initiative – A Healthier Diet for a Healthier Life” – DEDIPAC „Determinants of Diet and Physical Activity”
  • Joint research project „Innovative strategies to overcome implicit product-based and personality-based obstacles to consume healthy food.” The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, from 2010 to 2013). The project integrated expertise from different fields, namely Prof. Dr. Harald Rohm (food technology), Prof. Dr. Peter E. H. Schwarz (diabetes and prevention) and Prof. Dr. M. Velichkovsky (engineering technology).

What are the implicit determinants of food choice?

Diet-related diseases, such as diabetes mellitus type 2 and obesity, negatively affect the quality of life, they cause numerous deaths each year, and they inflate the health care spending of health insurance companies and national governments. These negative implications could be avoided to a large extent by changes in consumers’ lifestyles and food decision making. Yet, efforts to change lifestyles have been markedly ineffective. From the perspective of consumer psychology this is largely due to the “unhealthy = tasty-intuition”, which often operates in an automatic and non-conscious manner of information processing. Consequently, prevention campaigns that try to raise health awareness often fail because normative and paternalistic measures do not effect the deeply-rooted and automatic processes that guide food choices. To contribute to the urgent change towards a more healthy nutrition in the industrialized societies, we explore new ways to overcome the dilemma between taste and health without pushing consumers into decision conflicts. A key to solve the dilemma is product development. In particular, different compensation tactics (sensoric, packaging etc.) are evaluated. Another promising way is to develop less intrusive prevention campaigns to nudge consumers towards healthy food choices by promoting health-unrelated motives that have health-supportive side effects.

What are the department’s current publications?

Mai, R.; Hoffmann, S. (2015). How to Combat the Unhealthy = Tasty Intuition: The Influencing Role of Health Consciousness. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing. (forthcoming)

Mai, R.; Hoffmann, S.; Hoppert, K.; Schwarz, P.; Rohm, H. (2014). The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak: The moderating effect of implicit associations on healthy eating behaviors. Food Quality and Preference. (forthcoming).

Schwarz, U.; Mai, R.; Hoffmann, S. (2014). Gesundheitsmarketing, in Hurrelmann, K.; Baumann, E. (Eds.). Handbuch Gesundheitskommunikation, Bern: Huber, 376-385.

Reifegerste, D.; Schumacher, M. B.; Hoffmann, S.; Schwarz, U.; Hagen, L. M. (2014). Framing von Gesundheitskommunikation in Settingansätzen, in: Baumann, E.; Hastall, M. R.; Rossmann, C.; Sowka, A. (Eds.). Gesundheitskommunikation als Forschungsfeld der Kommunikations- und Medienwissenschaft, Nomos, 115-130.

Hoppert, K.; Mai, R.; Zahn, S.; Schwarz, P. E.; Hoffmann, S.; Rohm, H. Is There a Fit in Cognitive and Sensory Evaluation of Yogurt? The Moderating Role of Nutrition Information, Food Quality and Preference. (forthcoming)

Hoppert, K.; Zahn, S.; Jänecke, L.; Mai, R.; Hoffmann, S.; Rohm, H. (2013). Consumer Acceptance of Regular and Reduced-sugar Yogurt Enriched with Different Types of Dietary Fiber, International Dairy Journal, 28 (1), 1-7.

Hoppert, K.; Mai, R.; Zahn, S.; Hoffmann, S.; Rohm, H. (2012). Integrating Sensory Evaluation in Adaptive Conjoint Analysis to Elaborate the Conflicting Influence of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Attributes on Food Choice, Appetite, 59 (3), 949-965.

Mai, R.; Hoffmann, S. (2012). Taste Lovers vs. Nutrition Fact Seekers: How Health Consciousness and Self-Efficacy Determine the Way Consumers Choose Food Products, Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 11 (4), 316-328.

Hoffmann, S.; Faselt, F. (2012). Gesundheitspsychologie: Sozial-kognitive Ansätze zur Erklärung des Gesundheitsverhaltens von Konsumenten, in: Hoffmann, S.; Schwarz, U.; Mai, R. (Hrsg.). Angewandtes Gesundheitsmarketing, Wiesbaden: Springer/Gabler, S. 31-44.

Mai, R.; Schwarz, U.; Hoffmann, S. (2012). Gesundheitsmarketing: Schnittstelle von Marketing, Gesundheitsökonomie und Gesundheitspsychologie, in: Hoffmann, S.; Schwarz, U.; Mai, R. (Hrsg.). Angewandtes Gesundheitsmarketing, Wiesbaden: Springer/Gabler, S. 3-14.

Pegesa, F.; Hoffmann, S. (2012). Der First-Person-Effekt und der Third-Person-Effekt in der Gesundheitskommunikation, in: Hoffmann, S.; Schwarz, U.; Mai, R. (Hrsg.). Angewandtes Gesundheitsmarketing, Wiesbaden: Springer/Gabler, S. 267-280.

Mai, R.; Hoffmann, S.; Helmert, J. R.; Velichkovsky, B. M.; Zahn, S.; Jaros, D.; Schwarz, P. E. H.; Rohm, H. (2011). Implicit Food Associations as Hurdles for Healthy Nutrition: The Necessity of Further Research, British Journal of Diabetes and Vascular Disease, 11 (4), 182-186.

Hoffmann, S. (2012). Psychologische Grundlagen des Gesundheitsmarketing. Ein Überblick über sozial-kognitive Modelle, der Betriebswirt, 51 (3).

Hoffmann, S.; Otto, C.; Mai, R. (2012). Gesundheitsbewusster Lebensmittelkonsum. Eine Antwort auf die Frage warum sich Menschen je nach Alter, Geschlecht und Haushaltsgröße unterschiedlich gesund ernähren, Hamburg: Verlag Dr. Kovac.

Faselt, F.; Hoffmann, S.; Hoffmann, S. (2010). Theorien des Gesundheitsverhaltens, in: Hoffmann, S.; Müller, S. (Hrsg.). Gesundheitsmarketing: Gesundheitspsychologie & Prävention, Bern: Hans Huber, 15-34.

Faselt, F.; Hoffmann, S. (2010). Modell gesundheitlicher Überzeugungen / Schutzmotivationstheorie / Sozial-kognitive Theorie / Theorie des geplanten Verhaltens / Transtheoretisches Modell / Sozial-kognitives Modell gesundheitlichen Verhaltens, in: Hoffmann, S.; Müller, S. (Hrsg.). Gesundheitsmarketing: Gesundheitspsychologie & Prävention, Bern: Hans Huber, 35-97.