The purpose of this paper is to identify the communication patterns adopted by special organisations, called Producers’ Consortia, to promote Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) products. In particular, the paper analyses the key differences among the communication patterns in terms of the task assigned to communication, the communication tools employed to convey key messages to customers and the amount of the budget allocated to the mix of communication.
The authors analysed the communication activities conducted by all the Italian Consortia (112 in total) over a period of four years. A centred log-ratio transformation (clr) was applied to make the compositional data treatable in the Euclidean space. A clustering procedure was then followed to identify the different communication patterns adopted by the Consortia. The authors adopted an analytical framework where different communication patterns of Consortia are identified by the mostly used types (traditional advertising, public relations and digital communication) and the corresponding aimed consumer response (i.e. awareness, attitude and engagement).
This paper identifies four relevant and different communication patterns that co-exist in the Italian PDO market. Each pattern responds to a different logic and focusses on a specific task assigned to communication: to increase the awareness of the PDO label, to improve the attitude towards the PDO products and to enhance the engagement with the PDO’s values.
PDO products are key assets of a growing relevance for the European agri-food industry and consumer education is at the very core of the PDO labelling system. By law, the Consortia are in charge of the crucial task of communicating to customers. This research suggests that the communication of PDO is a complex activity that requires a careful choice of the right communication mix. Different patterns are driven by specific logic and are suitable for Consortia with different characteristics. Future research could complete the results of this study using a qualitative analysis of the content of communication activities. Caution should be used when generalising these findings to markets that present relevant differences in consumer food culture.
This research identifies some possible communication mixes that managers of the Consortia can adopt to promote PDO products and some options that can guide the development of their communication activities over time.
This work adds value to the literature on food marketing, and more specifically on food communication, by analysing the yet underexplored issue of how PDO products can be promoted in the “post-modern” food consumption era.
Bonetti, E., Mattiacci, A. and Simoni, M. (2019), "Communication patterns to address the consumption of PDO products", British Food Journal, Vol. 122 No. 2, pp. 390-403. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-03-2019-0204Download as .RIS
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