The concept of postmodern consumer plays a central role within the debate started in the early 80s concerning the economic, social and cultural transformation in developed countries in the years following the end of the Second World War; a change that was interpreted as evolving from a modern towards a postmodern society. According to this literature, postmodern conditions have a significant impact on the consumer, especially at the level of his/her psychological characteristics. Within this new framework the consumer is viewed as a subject who is more interested in the symbolic or cultural value of products and services rather than the value of their function and utility. At the same time, consumers are represented as active players within the market, where they exercise their freedom to move in search of signs symbols and experiences through which they can communicate their identity. The figure of the postmodern consumer is difficult to interpret within the framework of standard neoclassical theories on consumers. At the same time, it highlights the shortcomings of this theoretical approach in studying the behaviour of postmodern consumers. These shortcomings are likely to be more relevant when considering the consumers of food products, given the strong nexus between consumption and the well being of consumers, along with the symbolic and cultural value that food products encompass. The main goal of this paper consists in providing an interdisciplinary overview of postmodern consumers of food products, through the analysis of scientific contributions, mainly in the areas of behavioural economics, sociology and psychology.
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