Traditional food products (TFP) are an important part of European culture, identity, and heritage. In order to maintain and expand the market share of TFP, further improvement in safety, health, or convenience is needed by means of different innovations. The aim of this study was to obtain a consumer-driven definition for the concept of TFP and innovation and to compare these across six European countries (Belgium, France, Italy, Norway, Poland and Spain) by means of semantic and textual statistical analyses. Twelve focus groups were performed, two per country, under similar conditions. The transcriptions obtained were submitted to an ordinary semantic analysis and to a textual statistical analysis using the software ALCESTE. Four main dimensions were identified for the concept of TFP: habit-natural, origin-locality, processing-elaboration and sensory properties. Five dimensions emerged around the concept of innovation: novelty-change, variety, processing-technology, origin-ethnicity and convenience. TFP were similarly perceived in the countries analysed, while some differences were detected for the concept of innovation. Semantic and statistical analyses of the focus groups led to similar results for both concepts. In some cases and according to the consumers’ point of view the application of innovations may damage the traditional character of TFP.
Appetite – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2009
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