The number of products bearing a Geographical Indication (GI) has increased steadily in recent years. The EU Commission considers GIs as a useful tool in fostering simultaneously the production of high-quality food products as well as rural development in less-favoured regions. However, GIs are by no means a self runner. In order to be successful consumers have to value GIs. So far empirical evidence with respect to consumers' knowledge, expectations and WTP towards GI products is rather mixed and mainly focused on Mediterranean countries. The present paper addresses both sides of the market, i.e. producers' motivations to establish a GI and consumers' expectations towards GI products by representing results from a German case study, i.e. Hessian apple wine. In November 2008, an online-survey with 741 Hessian consumers was carried out. In the same month, an in-depth interview with one of the leading producers of Hessian apple wine, who was directly involved in the PGI application process, was conducted. The results indicate that the most important motivation to apply for a PGI is to secure the established reputation against misuse by competing producers in order to ensure the quality level of Hessian apple wine. Hessian consumers' awareness and knowledge about GIs is very limited. Moreover, it is found that the quality-dimension is not as important as the local-economy support dimension and perceived authenticity of the product.


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