Patrizia de Luca, Yalda Maria Jahangiri

Niche Marketing. A Research on Food for Specific Groups

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Niche markets, food for specific groups, phenylketonuria, Pku, nethnography.

This work integrates the studies on niche marketing, focusing on a niche of particular social value, namely foods for special medical purposes (Afms), which represent the prevalent or only treatment for people with special and rare diseases. In order to promote compliance with dietary therapy through an improvement in the satisfaction of the persons concerned, it becomes essential for companies targeting this market to focus on the customer and develop adequate knowledge economies. After a theoretical framework and a description of the context, this paper presents the results of a qualitative research on the Italian market of Afms, destined to the therapeutic treatment of a specific pathology, phenylketonuria, whose only cure is the observance of a strict dietary scheme. Through the netnographic method, applied to a Facebook group created in Italy by users interested in the topic, the multiple voices expressed in the conversations by the members of the online community were analysed. The results allowed to answer the research questions aimed at understanding the consumers’ attitude towards these foods, the factors influencing the preferences towards different products and brands and the possibilities of contributing to the creation of value for this restricted group of customers, also in terms of improving their quality of life. The present study intends to provide a twofold contribution. On the one hand, it intends to integrate the knowledge on niche marketing, with the analysis of a field with a significant social value, so far left to a prevalent analysis of a medical-healthcare nature. On the other hand, through the analysis of patient/consumer behaviour, it intends to give a support to the creation of value through strategic choices focused on the customer and innovative demand-pull logics.

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