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What motivates consumers to buy traditional food products? Evidence from Croatia and Austria using word association and laddering interviews

Marija Cerjak (Department of Agricultural Marketing, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia)
Rainer Haas (Institute for Marketing & Innovation, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria)
Florian Brunner (Institute of Marketing & Innovation, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria)
Marina Tomić (Department of Agricultural Marketing, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 28 October 2014

1714

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Practical implications

The findings can be used by traditional food producers in order to better understand consumers’ motives and accordingly adapt their marketing strategies.

Originality/value

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.

Keywords

Citation

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

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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