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Quality Determinants and Effect of Therapeutic Properties in Honey Consumption. An Exploratory Study on Italian Consumers

Department of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Sciences, University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze 13, Building 4, 90128 Palermo, Italy
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Agriculture 2019, 9(8), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9080174
Received: 24 June 2019 / Revised: 25 July 2019 / Accepted: 5 August 2019 / Published: 7 August 2019
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Abstract

Nowadays, more and more consumers show a growing interest in healthy food products that may help to maintain or improve human health, such as honey. Honey has always represented a fundamental component of traditional medicine in many world cultures. However, only thanks to several studies carried out in the last years, its use is considered as an alternative and complementary medicine, namely apitherapy. In this way, honey is recognized increasingly by consumers not only as a natural alternative to refined sugar but as healthy food, as shown by determining an increase of its consumption worldwide. This study aims to explore the consumers’ determinants of honey consumption, trying to understand whether, and how much, therapeutic properties of honey affect the Italian consumers’ choices. The findings of this study, although exploratory, provide information on which quality characteristics influence honey consumption in Italy, revealing that, among quality attributes, the therapeutic properties of honey play an important role in affecting consumers’ behavior, followed by income, variety and taste. This could have some implications for producers and marketers as this information could contribute to defining effective marketing strategies for communicating to consumers the quality attributes of honey and its therapeutic benefits. View Full-Text
Keywords: apitherapy; healthy food; consumers’ behavior; ordered logistic regression; frequency of consumption; online survey apitherapy; healthy food; consumers’ behavior; ordered logistic regression; frequency of consumption; online survey
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Testa, R.; Asciuto, A.; Schifani, G.; Schimmenti, E.; Migliore, G. Quality Determinants and Effect of Therapeutic Properties in Honey Consumption. An Exploratory Study on Italian Consumers. Agriculture 2019, 9, 174.

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