The purpose of this paper is to characterize consumers of traditional foods, taking as case study fresh cheeses produced in a village, in Central Mexico.
Semi-structured interviews were applied to a sample of 150 consumers, selected by non-probabilistic convenience sampling. A factorial analysis by principal component analysis was performed to the data, followed by a cluster analysis.
Four factors were obtained, named: artisanship, health and well-being, liking, and satisfaction with the purchase. Three consumer groups were identified: practical, in the process of valorization, and with liking and tradition. The socioeconomic characteristics of consumers do not have a relationship in the classification of groups. It is concluded that the consumption of fresh cheeses is due to a number of social and cultural attributes, and in lesser proportion, to economic aspects.
At present, as part of life in a dynamic society, people have the power of choice in the food they consume, a process that involves cultural, social, economic, political, and ideological aspects, established by the consumers themselves, or by a determined social group to which they belong. This has not been researched in Mexico. Being an emerging economy immersed in a rapid process of globalization, studies like this contribute in similar countries of Latin America and other places to find ways to valorize local foods and products that play important roles in the development of rural communities.
Authors express their gratitude to the Mexican National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT – Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología) for the postgraduate grant that enabled Minerva Hidalgo-Milpa to undertake doctoral studies.
Hidalgo-Milpa, M., Arriaga-Jordán, C., Cesín-Vargas, A. and Espinoza-Ortega, A. (2016), "Characterisation of consumers of traditional foods: the case of Mexican fresh cheeses", British Food Journal, Vol. 118 No. 4, pp. 915-930. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-02-2015-0083Download as .RIS
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