Classification of FMCG Product Macro-Categories on the Utilitarian vs. Hedonic Dimensions

Rita Coelho do Vale, João Duarte


The present study aims to classify several fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) macro-categories as holding more utilitarian vs. hedonic characteristics, allowing for future use in consumer decisionmaking studies. The classification of product categories along this continuum is becoming increasingly relevant, with different macro-categories generating special attention from the retailers, both in terms of layout and nature of the materials used, as well as of promotional activities. Additionally, a quick look at the penetration level of private labels (retailers’ brands), across different product categories, seems to lead to the conclusion that the nature of each of these categories is each time more relevant (TNS Worldpanel, 2013). An online study (n=119) where participants were asked to classify 23 product categories (borrowed from TNS Worldpanel, 2010) along a utilitarian-hedonic continuum, allowed for the classification of each product category as having a more utilitarian vs. hedonic nature. These results may be used in future studies interested in this type of classification.


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