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Exploring purchasing preferences: local and ecologically labelled foods

Exploring purchasing preferences: local and ecologically labelled foods Purpose – The growing presence of foods that are labelled “locally/ecologically produced” leads to the question of how many consumers consider the impact of their food purchases. Do they value local/ecologically‐produced food sufficiently to drive their purchasing behaviour, even if such foods are more costly? Can consumer segments be identified and, if so, what are their characteristics? This paper aims to focus on these questions. Design/methodology/approach – In an exploratory study, the authors surveyed over 400 students from a public university in California asking them to select between apples based on a combination of price, origin and presence/absence of an ecological indicator. The authors collected information on their shopping attitudes, their affinity for international trade and demographic identifiers. Findings – Evidence is found for three consumer segments: the deep green, the price conscious and switchers. The latter are the most prevalent category across demographic and attitudinal indicators, but with increased age, employment/shopping responsibilities, the preponderance of switchers diminishes and more deep green consumers appear. Deep green consumers tend to be both more information and variety seeking than the price conscious ones. Originality/value – By identifying demographic and other characteristics that are likely to qualify consumers as belonging to a specific segment, marketers of local and ecologically produced foods can better target and influence appropriate consumers. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Consumer Marketing Emerald Publishing

Exploring purchasing preferences: local and ecologically labelled foods

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0736-3761
DOI
10.1108/JCM-04-2013-0544
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The growing presence of foods that are labelled “locally/ecologically produced” leads to the question of how many consumers consider the impact of their food purchases. Do they value local/ecologically‐produced food sufficiently to drive their purchasing behaviour, even if such foods are more costly? Can consumer segments be identified and, if so, what are their characteristics? This paper aims to focus on these questions. Design/methodology/approach – In an exploratory study, the authors surveyed over 400 students from a public university in California asking them to select between apples based on a combination of price, origin and presence/absence of an ecological indicator. The authors collected information on their shopping attitudes, their affinity for international trade and demographic identifiers. Findings – Evidence is found for three consumer segments: the deep green, the price conscious and switchers. The latter are the most prevalent category across demographic and attitudinal indicators, but with increased age, employment/shopping responsibilities, the preponderance of switchers diminishes and more deep green consumers appear. Deep green consumers tend to be both more information and variety seeking than the price conscious ones. Originality/value – By identifying demographic and other characteristics that are likely to qualify consumers as belonging to a specific segment, marketers of local and ecologically produced foods can better target and influence appropriate consumers.

Journal

Journal of Consumer MarketingEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 25, 2013

Keywords: Global warming; Consumer attitudes; Pricing; United States of America; Ecological‐labelling; Local food; Carbon footprint; International trade

References

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