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Developing an authenticity model of traditional food specialties : Does the self-concept of consumers matter?

Katia Laura Sidali (Institute of Agricultural Economics, Georg-August-University Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany)
Sarah Hemmerling (Institute of Agricultural Economics, Georg-August-University Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 28 October 2014




The purpose of this paper is to develop an authenticity model for food specialties considering both the subjective and the object-based dimensions of authenticity. Moreover, the relationship with personality traits – such as consumer self-concept and identification with the product – (antecedents) as well as with the consumption intention (consequences) are measured.


Hypotheses were analyzed by means of a structural equation model using AMOS. Calculations were based on data collected through an online survey of 138 German respondents who were recruited by a consumer panel.


Both subjective and object-based perceived authenticity significantly influence the purchase intention. Object-based authenticity's role is mediated by the subjective authenticity, which is affected by the consumers self-identification with the product and personality traits such as determination and passion.

Research limitations/implications

The results presented in this paper will help to understand what influences the perception of authenticity of a traditional food product and how it affects purchase intentions. More influencing variables should be considered in future research, as well as other product groups. Repeated analyses considering larger samples are necessary to confirm the presented results.

Practical implications

A deeper understanding of which psychological and social factors affect the perception of a product's authenticity is important for creating appropriate marketing strategies.


While there is a vast literature on authenticity theories, remarkably few scholars have provided empirical evidence on this subject by using a quantitative research design.



The authors are indebted to the editor and to the anonymous referees who provided valuable comments on an earlier version of the paper. The authors thank Giovanni Belletti and Edgardo I. Garrido-Pérez for their advice, comments and suggestions. The authors acknowledge the financial support from the DFG for the project “The Constitution of Cultural Property: Actors, Discourses, Contexts, Rules” Interdisciplinary DFG Research Unit 772 (


Laura Sidali, K. and Hemmerling, S. (2014), "Developing an authenticity model of traditional food specialties : Does the self-concept of consumers matter?", British Food Journal, Vol. 116 No. 11, pp. 1692-1709.



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