2. A Netnographic Study of Health-Conscious Food Consumption in the Digital Era

Fehér, András – Farkas, Noémi Dóra – Boros, Henrietta Mónika – Véha, Miklós – Szakály, Zoltán

Health-conscious lifestyles and the consumption of foods which are considered healthy are becoming increasingly important globally and domestically. Thanks to digitisation, the consumer has a wide range of new and innovative ways to obtain useful information. Social media and its elements have reformed access to information over the past decade. The main objective of our research was to assess the impact of digitisation on healthy food consumption. In this article, we analysed particular social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram and Youtube) with a netnographic observation and examined the role of influencers in health-conscious food consumption. During secondary research, we clarified basic definitions and analysed recent and near-term trends. In the primary research, the netnographic survey was conducted in two sessions (September and October 2018 and December 2019). The aim was to broaden the research while comparing the results of the two observation sessions. Only Hungarian language sites were used for our observations. We analysed the Facebook pages and groups related to healthy eating. For the terms related to the topic under study (e.g., “healthy lifestyle” and “conscious eating”), we identified the same pages in most cases. So a given page has appeared for more than one search term. The creators of the groups typically include 4-5 keywords in the title at a time. We have analysed the number of hashtags with and without accents associated with health-conscious, free-from and plant-based nutrition. The majority of the analysed hashtags showed a tendency for their accented variants to grow more than non-accented ones in the past year. In addition, we systematized the Hungarian influencers with Youtube channel in the research topic. Based on the results, it can be stated that relatively few influencers operate a channel with a higher number of subscribers in the fields of healthy eating and healthy lifestyle. To sum up, the mention of healthy lifestyle in social media is complex and it is not tightened to health-conscious food consumption.

DOI: 10.20494/TM/7/1/2

The Hungarian Journal of Nutrition Marketing. 2020. 7 (1) 19-38.

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