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Understanding the consumption of traditional-local foods through the experience perspective: The case of the truffle

Elisabetta Savelli (Department of Economics, Society and Politics, Università degli studi di Urbino Carlo Bo, Urbino, Italy)
Laura Bravi (Department of Economics, Society and Politics, Università degli studi di Urbino Carlo Bo, Urbino, Italy)
Federica Murmura (Department of Economics, Society and Politics, Università degli studi di Urbino Carlo Bo, Urbino, Italy)
Tonino Pencarelli (Department of Economics, Society and Politics, Università degli studi di Urbino Carlo Bo, Urbino, Italy)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 16 May 2019

Issue publication date: 7 June 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand whether an experiential perspective can be usefully adopted in the context of traditional-local foods (TLFs) by assuming a consumer perspective that analyses attitudes and behaviours of young people towards truffles. In particular, it examines which values drive the consumption of truffles and whether they are perceived as an experiential-based food or simply a nutritional-based one.

Design/methodology/approach

The research was carried out through a survey conducted on a sample of 720 Italian university students from January to May 2016. The data were processed using analysis of variance, principal component analysis and a two-step cluster analysis.

Findings

The results show that the search for pleasure and gratification can be very important for young consumers and that gratification plays a critical role in the consumption of fresh truffles along with convenience. This confirms that TLFs, like truffles, can be highly appreciated by young consumers for their emotional content, which allows them to have a personal experience when buying and consuming them.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the literature by enriching the overall understanding of young people’s food behaviour and by deepening the adoption of the experiential perspective within the TLF business. Moreover, it has practical and useful implications for promoting the consumption of TLFs among the young and for managing TLFs as well as the rural areas from where they originate.

Keywords

Citation

Savelli, E., Bravi, L., Murmura, F. and Pencarelli, T. (2019), "Understanding the consumption of traditional-local foods through the experience perspective: The case of the truffle", British Food Journal, Vol. 121 No. 6, pp. 1261-1280. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-05-2018-0290

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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