Special Issue "Food Quality, Price and Consumer Choices"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Food".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ellen Van Loo
Website
Guest Editor
Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Group, Wageningen University & Research, Hollandseweg 1, 6706 KN Wageningen, The Netherlands
Interests: Consumer Behavior; Consumer Food Choices; Consumer Food Preferences for Quality Labels; Food Marketing; Healthy and Sustainability Food Consumption; Experimental Methods; Food policy; Incorporation of Biometric Data (e.g. eye-tracking and other biosensors) in consumer choice studies
Dr. Vincenzina Caputo
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University, 446 W. Circle, Dr., Rm 213E Morrill Hall of Agriculture, East Lansing Michigan, 48824, United States
Interests: Consumer Food Choice Behavior; Consumer Food Preferences; Consumer Demand; Choice Modeling; Experimental Economics; Food Marketing; Food Policy; Food Systems; Survey Designs
Dr. Claudia Bazzani
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Business Administration, University of Verona, Via Cantarane 24, 37129 Verona, Italy
Interests: Experimental Methods; Behavioral Economics; Psychology and Marketing; Choice Experiment; Discrete Choice Modeling; Food Marketing; Consumer Food Choice behavior; Consumer WTP Formation; Food products attributes; Food systems, Food Policy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A variety of high quality food products have specific credence quality attributes such as, production methods, sustainability aspects, geographic location, and origin. These products are considered to be “credence attributes” since consumers cannot evaluate them either before or after purchase. Hence, food quality labels play a critical role in signaling these quality features to consumers. Fernqvist and Ekelund (2014) identified credence categories including health-, production-, ethics-, and origin-related credence. Credence quality labels indicate for example the sustainability character, or the geographical indications or the traditional character, or the nutritional content of a food product. Examples of credence quality labels are environmental and ethical sustainability labels (e.g., organic, sustainable aquaculture and fisheries, animal welfare, fair trade, carbon footprint, local, food miles), symbols and origin labels (country of origin, Protected Designation of Origin, PDO and Protected Geographical Indication, PGI) and labels related to traditional production (Traditional Specialty Guaranteed, TSG), and nutrition- and health-related claims.

Quality labelling consist of cues used by consumers to access food quality and assist consumers in making informed food choices while retaining freedom of choice, and reducing search costs. For food producers, quality labelling is one of the major instruments to differentiate their products by informing consumers about credence quality attributes. Quality labels thus provide opportunities to strengthen their competitiveness by offering a way to differentiate and communicate the nature of their products in the marketplace. Quality labelling will be traded-off against other informational cues on the package, as well as price when consumers make food choices. This special issue is focused on the quality labels, price and how it relates to food choice.

Dr. Ellen Van Loo
Dr. Vincenzina Caputo
Dr. Claudia Bazzani
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • consumer food choice behavior
  • food quality labeling
  • preferences
  • willingness to pay
  • credence attributes
  • food marketing
  • consumer economics

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Are Consumers Willing to Pay a Premium for Pure Rice Noodles? A Study of Discrete Choice Experiments in Taiwan
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6144; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156144 - 30 Jul 2020
Abstract
Most consumers in Taiwan have never eaten pure rice noodles (PRNs) and some may mistakenly treat corn starch-based rice noodles as PRNs. This study examines consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for PRNs using discrete choice (DC) experiments with a blind tasting test to [...] Read more.
Most consumers in Taiwan have never eaten pure rice noodles (PRNs) and some may mistakenly treat corn starch-based rice noodles as PRNs. This study examines consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for PRNs using discrete choice (DC) experiments with a blind tasting test to understand consumers’ ability to identify PRNs with varying rice content on the basis of their appearance and taste. Collecting data from the Taipei metropolitan area, our DC experimental results of both pre- and post-experiment conditions show that Taiwanese consumers do prefer PRNs and their WTP for PRNs was strengthened. A latent class model highlights that attribute preferences tend to differ by group and thus rice content ratios should be properly labeled so that consumers can make a better choice according to their preferences. Our WTP estimates also imply that offering tasting trials to consumers is an effective marketing strategy to encourage potential purchases of PRNs for the rice noodle industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Quality, Price and Consumer Choices)
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Open AccessArticle
Vietnamese Consumers’ Preferences for Functional Milk Powder Attributes: A Segmentation-Based Conjoint Study with Educated Consumers
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5258; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135258 - 29 Jun 2020
Abstract
This paper investigated Vietnamese consumers’ preferences for functional milk powder products to determine if there were differences in market segments. A Qualtrics survey and a 1000minds choice-based conjoint survey were completed by 272 participants, predominantly 18-30-year-old males with high education levels and above [...] Read more.
This paper investigated Vietnamese consumers’ preferences for functional milk powder products to determine if there were differences in market segments. A Qualtrics survey and a 1000minds choice-based conjoint survey were completed by 272 participants, predominantly 18-30-year-old males with high education levels and above average incomes. Firstly, general perceptions of the use of functional foods to maintain health were determined, with results revealing that participants believed in the benefits the foods claim to provide. Secondly, participants’ tradeoffs for specific extrinsic functional milk powder attributes were determined by examining the relative importance they placed on a range of attributes. Participants prioritized a quality stamp attribute and preferred that this was obtained from an international certification body. Finally, a two-step cluster analysis and multinomial logistic regression was used to profile the participants and analyze relationships between socio-demographic data and the four resulting segments (i.e., Food Safety Concerned, Price Sensitive, Premium Product Focused, and Nutrition Focused). The largest of these segments was Food Safety Concerned (46.3%) with males significantly less likely than females to be in this segment. Given the limited literature on Vietnamese consumers’ decision-making processes, this study is an important contribution to this topic, as well as providing information about market opportunities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Quality, Price and Consumer Choices)
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Open AccessArticle
Food Heritage Makes a Difference: The Importance of Cultural Knowledge for Improving Education for Sustainable Food Choices
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1509; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12041509 - 18 Feb 2020
Abstract
This paper presents findings from a study carried out as part of BigPicnic, a European Commission’s Horizon 2020 project. BigPicnic brought together members of the public, scientists, policy-makers and industry representatives to develop exhibitions and science cafés. Across 12 European and one Ugandan [...] Read more.
This paper presents findings from a study carried out as part of BigPicnic, a European Commission’s Horizon 2020 project. BigPicnic brought together members of the public, scientists, policy-makers and industry representatives to develop exhibitions and science cafés. Across 12 European and one Ugandan botanic gardens participating in the study, we surveyed 1189 respondents on factors and motives affecting their food choices. The study highlights the importance that cultural knowledge holds for understanding food choices and consumer preferences. The findings of this study are discussed in the wider context of food security issues related to sustainable food choice, and the role of food as a form of cultural heritage. Specifically, the findings underline the importance of the impact of food preferences and choices on achieving sustainability, but also indicate that heritage is a key parameter that has to be more explicitly considered in definitions of food security and relevant policies on a European and global level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Quality, Price and Consumer Choices)
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Open AccessArticle
Public and Private Standards in Crop Production: Their Role in Ensuring Safety and Sustainability
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 606; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020606 - 14 Jan 2020
Abstract
From the comparison of regulations and/or standards for the organic, conventional and/or integrated citrus production method and a voluntary certification, it emerges that farms certified with voluntary non-regulated certification systems, such as the IFA FV GLOBALG.A.P, are obliged to take into account the [...] Read more.
From the comparison of regulations and/or standards for the organic, conventional and/or integrated citrus production method and a voluntary certification, it emerges that farms certified with voluntary non-regulated certification systems, such as the IFA FV GLOBALG.A.P, are obliged to take into account the highest number of aspects, reported in a more complete register, than the organic ones. Moreover, this is also supported by a continuous-time planned process of revision and updating of the applicable versions of the standard. The environmental impact of the food production, the safety aspects of food products, as well as the health, ethics, and safety aspects of workers, are largely considered and inspected in the GLOBALG.A.P., while the organic system, despite the IFOAM suggestions and indications, is only considered partially. This means that, from a practical point of view, the organic product can be considered “clean and safe”, but not more environmentally friendly than the GLOBALG.A.P. products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Quality, Price and Consumer Choices)
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