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Impact of organic and “protected designation of origin” labels in the perception of olive oil sensory quality

Sara Spognardi (Department of Business Studies, ROMA Tre University, Roma, Italy)
Domenico Vistocco (Dipartimento Scienze Politiche, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Napoli, Italy)
Lucio Cappelli (Dipartimento di Economia e Giurisprudenza, Università degli Studi di Cassino e del Lazio Meridionale, Cassino, Italy)
Patrizia Papetti (Dipartimento di Economia e Giurisprudenza, Università degli Studi di Cassino e del Lazio Meridionale, Cassino, Italy)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 13 January 2021

Issue publication date: 13 July 2021

465

Abstract

Purpose

Investigate the behaviour and the habits of the consumers from central-southern Italy in relation to extra olive oil consumption, focussing on the impact of protected designation of origin (PDO) and EU–organic certification on purchase intention and quality perception.

Design/methodology/approach

A specific questionnaire was submitted to 160 consumers; a subsample of ten experts, ten semi-experts and ten habitual consumers of olive oil tested, through a blind test first and a normal one then, three Italian samples: an extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) without certification, an organic EVOO and a PDO EVOO, which were characterised also from a chemical-physical point of view. The answers provided during the tastings were statistically analysed and compared.

Findings

People interviewed prefer local olive oils; they are positively influenced by PDO/organic certification, while price is not a decisive factor on the purchasing choices. According to tasting panel results: experts gave consistent answers preferring organic olive oil, semi-experts are positively influenced by the PDO brand contrary to what they claimed; non-experts would buy EVOO, although they are positively influenced by the PDO brand and negatively by the organic certification.

Practical implications

Only knowledge and experience can aid consumers make consistent and aware choices. Information campaigns could help them to distinguish products, correctly identify food attributes and overcome their scepticism towards quality of organic products.

Originality/value

Few works investigated the impact of quality and sustainability labelling on perception of olive oils, valuing the consistency between answers provided before and after sensory assessments.

Keywords

Citation

Spognardi, S., Vistocco, D., Cappelli, L. and Papetti, P. (2021), "Impact of organic and “protected designation of origin” labels in the perception of olive oil sensory quality", British Food Journal, Vol. 123 No. 8, pp. 2641-2669. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-07-2020-0596

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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