The paper seeks to provide a picture of the profile of European traditional food consumers (TFC) in terms of their socio‐demographics, attitudes, life‐style orientations and behavioural characteristics.
Cross‐sectional data were collected through a pan‐European consumer survey (n=4,828) conducted in November and December 2007, with samples representative for gender, age and region, collected from six European countries: Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, Poland and Norway. First, information about the consumption of traditional food and the image of a typical TFC was provided through descriptive analysis. Next, the actual characteristics of TFC were assessed using partial least squares regression and these were discussed in the context of the theory of self‐image congruity.
Traditional food consumption patterns are stronger in the south than in the north of Europe. TFC across Europe are typically middle‐aged to elderly, health‐conscious, ethnocentric, food connoisseurs, who are attached to familiarity in their food choices and who very much enjoy cooking.
The information about the profile, the image and the actual characteristics of TFC has practical implications for marketing and communicating about traditional foods, including their identification, differentiation, research and development and positioning in the European food market.
Traditional food is currently undergoing a revival, with increased sales, consumer and regulatory interest. This paper provides cross‐cultural results from a large pan‐European consumer sample that provides highly relevant and useful information about the market potentials of the traditional food industry, which mostly consists of small‐and medium‐sized enterprises. The application of the self‐image congruity theory to validate the results contributes to the originality of the paper.
Vanhonacker, F., Lengard, V., Hersleth, M. and Verbeke, W. (2010), "Profiling European traditional food consumers", British Food Journal, Vol. 112 No. 8, pp. 871-886. https://doi.org/10.1108/00070701011067479Download as .RIS
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