Who cares about food origin? A comparison of hypothetical survey responses and actual shopping behavior

This paper explores the relevance of food origin to consumers when making product purchase decisions. We use data from a survey of pork shoppers at the point of sale of five food retailers in Germany. Participants engaged in both a hypothetical survey eliciting evaluations of the importance of different pork attributes and a series of questions related to their knowledge about the attributes of their actual purchase of pork. This enables us to compare hypothetical responses with actual purchase behavior. The results show that origin indeed is a relevant attribute to a subset of consumers. A share of consumers does pay attention to origin labels and is willing to undertake costly search for origin information. Furthermore, the data give evidence that there is a strong, but not perfect, degree of agreement between hypothetical survey responses and actual shopping behavior. This result is supportive of the use of experimental methods.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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