The rising number of food safety scandals during recent years has led to increased uncertainty about food consumption choices. Additionally, new production process technologies, increased attention toward product ingredients, and obesity concerns have affected general levels of trust in food. Consequently, trust is an ever more decisive factor for success in food industry buyer‐seller relationships and, hence, in the retail food market. Although considerable research has investigated trust in organizations, research in the food retailing industry needs further investigation. The aim of this paper is to identify variables related to consumer trust in food retailers. Only when consumer trust in food retailers is understood can retailers effectively apply corresponding strategies to secure long‐term success.
Based on an established model of trust in organizations, the authors developed a questionnaire to test drivers (ability, benevolence, integrity), outcomes (risk taking, loyalty) of specific trust in food retailers, as well as moderators (propensity to trust, perceived risk).
Study results support the hypothesized model, showing that specific trust in a food retailer strongly predicts risk taking and, in turn, loyalty. The food retailer's ability and integrity were identified as relevant to specific trust, while the customer's propensity to trust was shown to moderate the relationship between benevolence and specific trust. The results further indicate that the perceived risk affects the relationship between specific trust and risk taking.
This paper is the first to apply and test an established model of trust in the food‐retailing market.
Viktoria Rampl, L., Eberhardt, T., Schütte, R. and Kenning, P. (2012), "Consumer trust in food retailers: conceptual framework and empirical evidence", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 40 No. 4, pp. 254-272. https://doi.org/10.1108/09590551211211765
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