PDO labels and food preferences: results from a sensory analysis

Elisabetta Savelli (Department of Economics, Society, Politics, Università degli studi di Urbino Carlo Bo, Urbino, Italy)
Laura Bravi (Department of Economics, Society, Politics, Università degli studi di Urbino Carlo Bo, Urbino, Italy)
Barbara Francioni (Department of Communication Sciences, Humanities and International Studies, Cultures, Languages, Literatures, Arts, Media, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Urbino, Italy)
Federica Murmura (Department of Economics, Society, Politics, Università degli studi di Urbino Carlo Bo, Urbino, Italy)
Tonino Pencarelli (Department of Economics, Society, Politics, Università degli studi di Urbino Carlo Bo, Urbino, Italy)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Publication date: 13 November 2020

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims at investigating whether and how the product designation of origin (PDO) label influences consumers' acceptance, attributes' perception and purchase intention of PDO foods.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employs an experimental lab study based on the affective test of acceptance methodology with a nine-point hedonic scale. Three PDO foods are compared with similar non-PDO samples concerning cheese, cured ham and olive oil categories.

Findings

The presence of PDO labels enhances the consumers' acceptance as well as their perception of sensory attributes. A critical role of the brand name as an enhancer of consumer acceptance also emerges, highlighting the relationship between brand-name and PDO label.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation is related to the lab study methodology, which employs a small number of participants and occurs far from a “normal” situation of consumption. The acceptance test, moreover, does not provide explanations about motives underlying the differences in consumers' perception and preferences.

Practical implications

Practical implications are suggested for food companies concerning the management of both PDO labels and brand strategies and the product's properties that could improve the sensory perception of consumers and their overall product's acceptance.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the debate on consumer behaviour towards PDO foods by adding evidence about the positive influence of such a certification on individual preferences on the basis of a sensory methodology that has been little employed for studying the domain of product certifications.

Keywords

Citation

Savelli, E., Bravi, L., Francioni, B., Murmura, F. and Pencarelli, T. (2020), "PDO labels and food preferences: results from a sensory analysis", British Food Journal, Vol. 123 No. 3, pp. 1170-1189. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-05-2020-0435

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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