Perception of local food in direct sale from buyer’s perspective - a case of Poland
In industrialized countries, both government bodies, local authorities, and consumers express a growing interest in local food. The legitimacy of the expansion and promotion of the local food concept stems from the support of regional development while maintaining the principles of sustainable development in the social, economic, and environmental dimensions. In order for the local food sector to develop, it is essential to learn about the opinions of consumers and to recognize their expectations towards the production and distribution of this food. Therefore, this research aimed to identify buyers’ perception of local food and to reveal the attributes (values) affecting this perception. The scope of this research is complements the cognitive gap, and has a practical dimension. A mixed-method approach was adopted in the study to explore the research problem. Qualitative research (n=5 mini-FGI) and quantitative research (n=770 interviews) were conducted. The study revealed that local food is perceived by an integrated set of features, among which product attributes, socio-economic and environmental benefits resulting from its production and distribution are equally important. The perceived attributes related to the quality of local food products reflect consumer confidence in its producers and should be considered as indicators of expectations towards these products. The survey has shown that local products are ranked higher than mass food because they are perceived as of better quality, healthier, and safer. The distinctive attributes of local food products make them superior over conventional foods, constitute their added value, and should be used in constructing a marketing message. The study results are a valuable source of information for producers and entities acting for the development of local food systems. They also provide a number of key insights that can be used in designing marketing communication.
consumer, attributes, values, sustainability of food systems, sustainable consumption
A14 , D10 , M30
FundingI gratefully acknowledge the support provided by the marketing agency Marketing Research Joanna Kuncer Zajączkowska. This research was financed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education within the funds intended for the maintenance of the research potential, awarded to the Faculty of Economics of the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn.
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