Country of Origin (COO) labeling has been shown in several studies to be an important extrinsic cue for consumers in their quality evaluation of food products such as olive oil, wine or tea. COO has not been discussed in the context of pepper; however pepper's quality highly depends on the heritage. This paper aims to explore this aspect.
The study was conducted in an organic grocery store in Bonn, Germany. The first part of the face to face interviews at the point‐of‐sale were carried out for understanding consumers' attitudes towards different extrinsic quality cues. The second part covered the product‐country‐image of pepper as well as consumers' knowledge regarding COO and pepper quality. Third, the contingent valuation method is used to analyze organic consumers' willingness to pay (WTP). Fourth a blind‐tasting of black pepper from different origins and production methods was conducted.
The study reveals that organic consumers are able to experience taste differences due to COO though only a minority expects those taste differences. Thus, also concerned and involved consumers are not sufficiently informed on COO information to rely on their purchase decision of pepper. As a result consumers are not willing to pay a significant higher price for COO labeled pepper.
This study is the first which combines face‐to‐face interviews regarding attitudes, image and knowledge with a blind tasting of pepper and an investigation of consumers' WTP for pepper from different origins and processing characteristics.
Klöckner, H., Langen, N. and Hartmann, M. (2013), "COO labeling as a tool for pepper differentiation in Germany: Insights into the taste perception of organic food shoppers", British Food Journal, Vol. 115 No. 8, pp. 1149-1168. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-07-2011-0175Download as .RIS
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