Transparent Food and Consumer Trust

Astrid Kriege-Steffen, Hermann Boland, Julia Lohscheidt, Flurina Schneider, Matthias Stolze


Nowadays the food market is very complex and anonymous. Consequently, consumer trust in food has become a key issue for food choice. For example, the production process of food is not always transparent for consumers. To provide more transparency and to enhance consumer trust, different initiatives communicating traceability to the consumers exist. Visualised traceability systems such as the initiative ‘Bio mit Gesicht’ allow consumers to gather information about the farmer who has produced the food as well as information about his farm and family.
This study explores consumer trust in organic food, the impact of trust in the buying decision and the effectiveness of enhancing consumer trust by communication strategies on traceability. The research is grounded on the general finding that trust is one of the most crucial aspects when consumers decide whether or not to buy organic products. The study consists of two tasks, a quantitative and a qualitative survey. In this paper the focus is laid on the second task, a qualitative survey. The used method is the structure


formationtechnique. The aim is to combine an interview with a visualising technique. With the help of this method the factors which influence the decision of consumers to buy or not to buy organic food should become clear. Furthermore, the role of trust in the buying decision will be explored. Moreover, an investigation should be made as to whether or not traceability systems influence consumer trust in organic food. This research is currently being conducted but preliminary results can already be presented.
The results of the study will help develop communication strategies for enhancing consumer trust in organic food.

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ISSN 2194-511X


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