Does knowledge-based economy speaks to consumers? A French case study with respect to food products - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
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Does knowledge-based economy speaks to consumers? A French case study with respect to food products


When choosing food items in store, consumers are facing to several information regarding price, brand, nutritional facts or components, best-before-date, and so on. Once at home those who whish to be reinsured on the products they bought, can find an overflow of information available on the Internet though plenty of websites coming not only from companies but also from consumer associations or simply end-users clubs. However, most information available needs some skills in order to be intelligible. The main question may be: Are professional worlds still open for consumers?. The paper presents the results of a consumer survey carried-out in France in 2007, focusing on knowledge on food products, namely cheese and wine. French are deemed to frequently experience such categories of food. We assume some information asymmetry exists among consumers, which means that close to the area of production, they may have develop some familiarity with a given product, rather than those living far from this area. Hence, the survey was split into two different regions, namely Auvergne and Burgundy. The first is well-known for its excellent cheese production, the second is the genuine place of famous wines. So the sampling was divided between far-off region and local one regarding the area of wine production and vice-versa for cheese. The first step of the survey involved a household self-report of purchasing behaviour, of cheese or wine, indicating the concrete items bought during the three months preceding the survey. Then a questionnaire was applied to 483 respondents, including questions on key dimensions of product-oriented knowledge: processing, geography and culture, all related to the relevant category of product, in order to assess respondents’ awareness on the given product. Thus, this tripod-based knowledge was complemented by the orientation of the respondents with respect to sustainable development, obtained through questions on economic sensitivity, social inclination and environment-friendly attitude. Finally a k-means classification was used in order to better explain the diversity of knowledge displayed by the respondents according to the selected products. Significant clusters of respondents were found by means of this method of segmentation. The results indicate that the region of origin is influencing the purchasing behaviour, the consumption and also the knowledge. It is shown that attitudes and behaviours towards food products are related to the dimension of knowledge and in a minor extend to the level of knowledge. Managerial indications are given according to these findings, with efficient communication in mind.
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hal-04186838 , version 1 (24-08-2023)


  • HAL Id : hal-04186838 , version 1


Georges Giraud, Annick Lebecque, Corinne Amblard, Cécile Bord, Claire Sulmont-Rossé, et al.. Does knowledge-based economy speaks to consumers? A French case study with respect to food products. The 110. European Association of Agricultural Economics Seminar System Dynamics and Innovation in Food Networks, Feb 2008, Innsbruck, Australia. ⟨hal-04186838⟩
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