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Journal Articles Agribusiness Year : 2010

How European Consumers Define the Concept of Traditional Food: Evidence From a Survey in Six Countries

Abstract

Within the European food market, traditional food products (TFP) represent a growing segment. Nonetheless, European consumers' definition and perception of TFP have not been thoroughly addressed thus far. The specific aim of this study was to provide an all-embracing consumer definition of the concept of TFP that is comfortable for the largest possible majority of European food consumers. Cross-sectional survey data were collected from representative consumer samples from Belgium, France, Italy, Norway, Poland, and Spain in November 2007, yielding a total sample of 4,828 participants. The study elaborates on country-specific peculiarities and identifies consumer segments that differ in the emphasis they place in the conceptualization of TFP. The following definition emerged, A traditional food product is a product frequently consumed or associated to specific celebrations and/or seasons, transmitted from one generation to another, made in a specific way according to gastronomic heritage, naturally processed, and distinguished and known because of its sensory properties and associated to a certain local area, region or country. Cross-European homogeneity was found in the elements to include in the definition, across and within-country heterogeneity existed regarding the specific emphasis of particular elements. Four consumer segments were distinguished by whom TFP are predominantly defined as multiconcept, usual/familiar, authentic/typical, and inherited. The first segment displayed a very broad conceptualization, without a clear differentiation. For the latter three segments, particular elements dominated their conceptualization. Product positioning, marketing, and communication challenges for TFP facing these consumer segments are discussed. [EconLit citations: D12; M39; Q13].

Dates and versions

hal-02660753 , version 1 (30-05-2020)

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Filiep Vanhonacker, Wim Verbeke, Luis Guerrero, Anna Claret, Michèle Contel, et al.. How European Consumers Define the Concept of Traditional Food: Evidence From a Survey in Six Countries. Agribusiness, 2010, 26 (4), pp.453-476. ⟨10.1002/agr.20241⟩. ⟨hal-02660753⟩
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