The purpose of this paper is to explore the differences between consumer motives regarding purchase of traditional food in two European countries (Croatia and Austria) with a different history and development in regards to traditional and/or regional food.
A word association test and soft laddering interviews were used to elicit consumers’ perception and purchasing motives for traditional food. Additionally, the questionnaire contained socio-demographics and questions about shopping habits concerning traditional food. Semi-structured, individual, face-to-face interviews were performed with 31 Croatian and 28 Austrian respondents.
The most frequent associations/definition in both countries refers to heritage (food of generations) and elaboration (traditional receipt). The meaning of traditional food is for both samples positive. Hierarchical value maps for both countries contain ladders standing for health or support of local farmers. Additionally, the Austrians connect traditional food with environmental friendly production while for the Croatians sentimental hedonism ladder starts with perception of traditional food as a mean to connect with the childhood.
The findings can be used by traditional food producers in order to better understand consumers’ motives and accordingly adapt their marketing strategies.
This is the first work which uses free association test and laddering interviews to reveal consumers perception and motives for purchase of traditional food both in Croatia as well as in Austria.
Cerjak, M., Haas, R., Brunner, F. and Tomić, M. (2014), "What motivates consumers to buy traditional food products? Evidence from Croatia and Austria using word association and laddering interviews", British Food Journal, Vol. 116 No. 11, pp. 1726-1747. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-02-2014-0090
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