The Impact of Country-of-Origin Information on Consumer Perception of Environment-Friendly Characteristics

Gianni Cicia, Luigi Cembalo, Teresa del Giudice, Riccardo Scarpa


The intense process of internationalization of the food market is giving rise to new competitive scenarios. Growing market shares on the part of new export countries, along with other consumer and retail issues, impose different marketing policies for agri-food products. In particular, greater consumer awareness of environmental and health issues is changing the structure of demand for fresh products. In the past, the country of origin and a good quality/price ratio were the main strategic strengths for gaining and maintaining international market shares. Nowadays, market shares are gained by moving towards new product attributes, namely environmental friendliness and food safety. This paper draws attention to new, more successful marketing strategies. The case study is the German cherry tomato market. Our analysis of German consumer preferences on stated choice data produces interesting insights. Product attributes related to the environment are found to be relevant to forming consumer preferences. As these are termed "faith" attributes, we speculate that German consumers refer to product origin country as a proxy of its environmental aspects. Two separate competitive segments emerge, one with a higher level of environmental quality, namely Germany and Italy, and the other comprising Turkey, Spain, France and Holland.


competitiveness strategies; German cherry tomato market; environmentally friendly; fresh vegetables; Mixed Nested Logit

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ISSN 1869-6945


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