The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationships in alternative food networks (AFNs) between the purchase of food, the motivations of consumers and their socio-demographic profiles.
The study includes a total sample of 1,200 individual questionnaires, administered to the customers of 34 AFNs in different urban areas. The methodology employed is multilevel regression analysis, which is useful for dealing with data with a nested structure.
The results allowed us to depict some findings: the most important motivations in purchasing decisions are the perceived quality as well as comfort with the location of the markets, shopping experience, variety of offered products and delivery methods. Other interesting results relate to the presence of children in the families and the role of women in the choice of quality food.
The observations could represent a basis for thinking about how to improve consumers’ behaviour and, at the same time, try to remove the obstacles to a greater recognition of the importance of AFNs by consumers.
The paper contributes to the debate on food policies. Indeed, the integration of the results into food policies could help to intercept the consumers’ trends and promote a transition of the food system towards a path of sustainability, in which the AFNs are the organisational expression of a change that concerns a wide geography and a large number of social and economic actors.
Mastronardi, L., Romagnoli, L., Mazzocchi, G., Giaccio, V. and Marino, D. (2019), "Understanding consumer’s motivations and behaviour in alternative food networks", British Food Journal, Vol. 121 No. 9, pp. 2102-2115. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-01-2019-0032
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