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Abstract

Cereal foods' production and use show substantial heterogeneity across Europe. For a category central in most EU diets, cereal foods' quality perception is, nevertheless, surprisingly understudied. With this in mind, 357 Danish, Lithuanian and Portuguese citizens were inquired about the importance of several cues and dimensions in their evaluation of the perceived quality of bread, cookies, breakfast cereals, pasta and vodka. Portuguese and Lithuanians consistently gave a significantly higher average importance to all the cues and quality dimensions considered, for all products, than their Danish counterparts. Nevertheless, respondents in all three samples found expected quality dimensions to be much more important than both extrinsic and intrinsic cues across almost all product categories. Dimensions and cues like taste and country - of- origin were the most relevant to Lithuanians, while taste , label information and price were the most important for Danes. The cues and dimensions Portuguese found relevant were fairly different and more category- dependent. Cues like store type for bread, brand for breakfast cereals, pasta and vodka, country - of- origin for vodka , and price for cookies, pasta and vodka were more often assessed by the Portuguese as relevant for decision- making at the point - of- purchase. This highlights the need for further cross - cultural research on food quality perception.

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