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Abstract

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 119 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Debora Scarpato, Giacomo Rotondo, Mariarosaria Simeone, Andrés Gómez and Pilar Gutiérrez

The purpose of this paper is to explore food safety attitudes among a sample of Spanish consumers and determine which variables, among those studied, most affect the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore food safety attitudes among a sample of Spanish consumers and determine which variables, among those studied, most affect the probability of the consumer being attentive to food safety.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted using a logit model. From the questionnaire 20 binary category variables were identified. Having selected the variable “Are you worried about safety food” as a dependent variable, the authors used binary logistic regression (Aldrich and Nelson, 1984; Borooah, 2002) to ascertain in what way the remaining 19 variables affect the likelihood of the consumer being particularly attentive to the healthiness and safety of food purchased.

Findings

The probability of the consumer being particularly attentive to food healthiness and safety, for the sample in question, is higher in consumers who stated that they were familiar with organic products, those who are attentive to fat contents in foods and those who value the presence of quality certification positively.

Research limitations/implications

Future research into Spanish consumers with the same methodology should target a larger sample in several Spanish cities.

Originality/value

This paper investigates not only Spanish consumer attitudes to food safety, but also how other variables can influence the probability of the consumer being concerned about food safety. This approach may be very useful for food companies to determine what strategies to adopt to attract the category of consumers who lend special importance to the food safety variable in their purchases.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 119 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Carlo Russo and Mariarosaria Simeone

The purpose of this paper is to devise and then test a theoretical model to illustrate the effects of the increasing importance of social media on consumer behavior and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to devise and then test a theoretical model to illustrate the effects of the increasing importance of social media on consumer behavior and market equilibrium in differentiated food industries.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use game theory to model the strategic use of social media by firms producing high-value food products. The authors test the predictions of the theoretical model by means of a survey of 722 randomly selected Italian food consumers using an online questionnaire.

Findings

The model predicts that, as social media become more and more influential, consumers using the new media become more informed, and their concern about food quality attributes increases. At the same time, the consumers using mass media only receive less information and they prefer cheaper products to the high value one. As a result, the emergence of social media favours market segmentation and the hypotheses tested were: Social consumers are, on average, more informed than mass consumers and more concerned about environmental issues than mass consumers. The data support the theoretical model.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the debate about the impact of information from interested sources on market equilibrium, providing an innovative analysis of the role of social media.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 119 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Paola Mancini, Andrea Marchini and Mariarosaria Simeone

This is an exploratory study on consumer information and behaviour towards green, health, local, social and environmental credentials on labels. It focusses on many…

Abstract

Purpose

This is an exploratory study on consumer information and behaviour towards green, health, local, social and environmental credentials on labels. It focusses on many dimensions of sustainability in the food products that affect consumer choices with a dual purpose: to identify and define “sustainable consumption” behaviour in broad sense and to investigate empirically the factors affecting the real consumption behaviours. The purpose of this paper is to shed light on consumers’ understanding, motivation and use of sustainable labelling in order to understand the role sustainability information plays in the food products market.

Design/methodology/approach

Two focus groups in order to investigate consumer motivation and behaviour in-depth and to prepare the questionnaire. Identification of the outcomes that could summarize sustainable consumption combining: purchase of local products, consume only seasonal fruit, prefer products with recyclable packaging, attention to the fat content in foods, give importance to traceability and purchase products only in the place of origin. Identification of the “at risk” virtuous consumer, using a binary logistic regression approach, taking into account demographic characteristics, the food and nutrition value system, experience, knowledge, institutional factors and marketing.

Findings

Results from the focus groups are mainly in line with the empirical analysis, highlighting the key role of education in influencing consumer attitude and behaviour. Consumers give little attention to information provided on the label for sustainable food consumption and environmental protection and have little knowledge of environmental problems. The virtuous consumer appears to give importance to a better food nutrition value system, to pay more attention to ingredients and instructions on the label, to be more attentive to environmental and sustainable attributes, to be concerned about product quality and to be slightly influenced by brands and special offers.

Research limitations/implications

The findings from the empirical analysis confirm the results from focus groups even if it was not possible from the empirical analysis to investigate in-depth the marketing aspects concerning the food choice. This limit probably comes from the low number of observations. Further research will focus on these marketing aspects.

Practical implications

Products with sustainable attributes can become a strategic variable and allow companies to gain a competitive advantage, especially for small- and medium-sized enterprises. This may encourage the development of new marketing channels based on the direct relationship between producer and the new consumer demand, increasingly sensitive to the food security issues.

Social implications

There is a potential interest and sensitiveness to having sustainable behaviour in a broad sense, but there is a lack of knowledge about how to behave to be sustainable. In the absence of binding rules, it is necessary that government promote information and campaigns to generate greater awareness on sustainability, aiming at increasing knowledge to drive the consumer’s choices. This may lead to virtuous results in terms of reducing social costs related to an unhealthy diet, food waste and unsustainable consumption.

Originality/value

The results show that despite the appearance of attention to the environment and to healthy food which is associated with this emerging critical consumer in the literature, there remains the problem of the consumer giving little attention to information provided on the label for sustainable food consumption and environmental protection. This is the problem of “rules of thumb” in purchasing decisions that prevail in the following situations: when consumers have an overload of information that exceeds their processing limits; when they tend to base their decision making on heuristics, focussing their choices on brands as a proxy for high-quality, product-related characteristics.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 119 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2015

Nicola Marinelli, Mariarosaria Simeone and Debora Scarpato

– The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into the factors that affect consumer choices for both policymakers and food companies.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into the factors that affect consumer choices for both policymakers and food companies.

Design/methodology/approach

Four hundred questionnaires were administered in the city of Florence (Tuscany, Italy). Data analysis was carried out according to a two-step procedure in a multivariate statistical framework: in the first stage, a multiple correspondence analysis was performed; in the second step, the single-link (nearest neighbour) cluster analysis allowed three homogeneous groups of consumers to be identified on the basis of their specific socio-demographic characteristics.

Findings

Three consumer clusters were obtained: the first, “critical but non-philanthropic consumers”, who may have pathologies that require a particular diet; the second, “marginally critical consumers”, for whom freshness, the label and the assortment count for much; the third, “agnostic consumers”, who choose a product according to its origin and the price/quality relationship, while ethical aspects, health claims or information on the use are not considered as important.

Social implications

From the results it may be deduced that although recent regulations will lead to greater transparency, in many respects consumers may not be able to grasp aspects of higher quality from the label among competing products.

Originality/value

The results seem to run contrary to the trends identified in other studies with regard to critical and socially responsible production attributes. Except in cases where consumers are sensitised by the presence of food-related diseases encountered within their own family, they may not be able to grasp higher-quality aspects from the label among competing products. From the results it is evident that both educational and generational issues come into play with regard to food choices, closely linked to the media from which information is obtained.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 45 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Katharina Bissinger and Daniel Leufkens

Since fairtrade labels are upcoming market instruments, the purpose of this paper is to identify and quantify consumers’ willingness to pay for fairtrade coffee products…

Abstract

Purpose

Since fairtrade labels are upcoming market instruments, the purpose of this paper is to identify and quantify consumers’ willingness to pay for fairtrade coffee products and tea. Thereby, this paper contributes to the discussion in favour of a non-private regulation of ethical food labels (FLs). Moreover, the paper provides information about the consumer behaviour of the German buying public.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical analysis is based on homescan panel data of 13,000 representative German households, which includes actual purchase data of ground coffee, single-serve coffee, espresso, and tea for a five-year sample period from 2004 to 2008. As a methodological approach, the hedonic technique is used to model coffee and tea prices as a function of time, store, and product characteristics.

Findings

Regarding the variables of interest branding a product leads to an average price premium of 22.1 per cent, while the organic FL achieves an average price premium of 34.3 per cent. The highest average price premium of 43.1 per cent is ceteris paribus paid for fairtrade labels. In the case of fairtrade labels, tea products earn the highest implicit prices with 74.0 per cent, followed by ground coffee (54.9 per cent), espresso (24.7 per cent), and single-serve coffee (18.9 per cent).

Originality/value

The present analysis supplements the discussions around the willingness to pay for fairtrade certified products by the German buying public, a product differentiation between coffee products and the introduction of labelled tea. As the data set includes daily purchases, it allows analysis of consumer behaviour on a disaggregated level, given detailed information on prices, stores, origins, FLs, and so on.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 119 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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