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Abstract

In this paper, we examine which consumers purchase PDO/PGI protected regional products and to what extent these consumers perceive a PDO or PGI label to add value to the regional product. A PDO/PGI label guarantees the region of origin of products and legally protects these products from other Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises trying to imitate or to benefit from the image of the product. The authors find that users of protected regional products can be differentiated from non-users. Like users of brands (versus generic brands}, users of regional products tend to be older and have higher incomes. Living in the region of origin of a regional product increases the likelihood of purchasing that product. Users attach more value to knowing the country/region of origin of the food products they purchase. Further, it is shown that users of regional products are willing to pay more for regional products that are protected by a PDO/PGI protection label. One of the reasons for this is that they perceive the PDO/PGI protection label to guarantee authentic, high quality products. Although a PDO/PGI protection label adds value to regional products, there is one large problem, namely the lack of consumer awareness and understanding of the PDO/PGI protection label. Unless the consumer awareness and understanding of these labels is improved, the added value of PDO and PGI labels will be limited.

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