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For marketers, health professionals, and parents, improving nutrition is essentially a process of encouraging consumers to make healthful choices that improve their well–being. What happens, however, when we believe contamination, terrorism, or a genetic incidence threatens a part of the food supply? Sometimes such crises influence the recall, redesign, and communication efforts of individual companies; other times they threaten entire industries.
After showing how consumer attitudes toward food safety are formed, this review distinguishes four different segments of consumers who would be most influenced and most influential during a food crisis. De–coupling the risk response behavior of consumers into the separate components of risk perception and risk attitude shows how they will react differently in a food safety crisis situation.
Using these insights, suggestions are made as to the implications this has for pre–crisis preparations and post–crisis responses. While pre–crisis preparations can eliminate the crisis altogether, post–crisis responses can help manage a crisis when it does occur.