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The role of intrinsic and extrinsic characteristics of honey for Italian millennial consumers

Simone Blanc (Department of Agriculture, Forest and Food Sciences (DISAFA), University of Turin, Turin, Italy)
Raffaele Zanchini (Department of Agriculture, Forest and Food Sciences (DISAFA), University of Turin, Turin, Italy)
Giuseppe Di Vita (Department of Agriculture, Forest and Food Sciences (DISAFA), University of Turin, Turin, Italy)
Filippo Brun (Department of Agriculture, Forest and Food Sciences (DISAFA), University of Turin, Turin, Italy)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 9 February 2021

Issue publication date: 28 June 2021

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the importance that different intrinsic and extrinsic attributes represent for young Italian consumers of honey, analysing how these aspects influence the quality perceived during consumption. In addition, demographic and lifestyle aspects have been considered as possible discriminants influencing millennial generation honey consumers.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors performed a non-parametric rank-based test (Mann–Whitney U test) to analyse which attributes millennials value most, relating these to gender, sports activity or rural and urban origin. Then, to identify consumption patterns, principal component analysis, applying Kaiser normalisation and varimax rotation, was used.

Findings

This study confirms the remarkable sensitivity of the millennials towards environmental sustainability aspects. This attribute of choice seems particularly important for a clearly identifiable segment of the sample examined, represented by women who regularly practice sports and who come from urban areas. This result makes it possible to identify a type of consumer who, from early adulthood, is mindful of their lifestyle and ecological footprint. Moreover, it emerges that the most important attributes during purchasing are those related to label information, local product and origin, highlighting the awareness of young people and their maturity in the consumption of agro-food products.

Originality/value

The authors identified a trend in consumption that diverges from the classic patterns based on brand and the intrinsic characteristics of honey, but which forges new pathways more closely intertwined with the aspects of sustainability and the relationship with the territory, in addition to food safety.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: This research was funded by the European Union within the research project: INTERREG V-A France-Italie (ALCOTRA) (2014-2020)–“INNOV’API (n. 1580)–Innovation sanitaire pour la durabilitédes exploitations apicoles”.Conflicts of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Citation

Blanc, S., Zanchini, R., Di Vita, G. and Brun, F. (2021), "The role of intrinsic and extrinsic characteristics of honey for Italian millennial consumers", British Food Journal, Vol. 123 No. 6, pp. 2183-2198. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-07-2020-0622

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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