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Assessing Supermarket Food Shopper Reaction to Horsemeat Scandal in the UK

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  • Fred A. Yamoah

    (University of Kent, Kent Business School, Medway Campus, Chatham Maritime, Kent, ME4 4AG, UK.)

  • David E. Yawson

    (University of Kent, Kent Business School, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7PE, UK)

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    Abstract

    : Consumer reaction to food scares has been given considerable research attention but insights into specific shopper segments’ reactions to food scares, especially those that do not pose direct health risk to the public is limited. This paper examines how different life-stage shopper segments reacted to the horsemeat scandal in the UK. This paper draws on the analysis of supermarket loyalty card dataset of 1.7 million beef burger shoppers to establish the effect of the horsemeat scandal on retail sales value and volume as well as the rate of withdrawal of life-stage shopper segments from the affected products. The results show consistent weekly decline in retail sales value and volume across all life-stage segments over six consecutive weeks after the first horsemeat scandal announcement. Young families, pensioners and young adults segments withdrew from affected products in accordance with their typical perception and attitudes to risk. Contrary to expectation older adults withdrew faster than young families from the affected products. The findings of the study offer useful insights and strategic direction for managers working to ensure that food scares are managed to the benefit of the public and the food industry .

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Econjournals in its journal International Review of Management and Marketing.

    Volume (Year): 4 (2014)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 98-107

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    Handle: RePEc:eco:journ3:2014-02-1

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    Web page: http://www.econjournals.com

    Related research

    Keywords: Horsemeat food scare; perception and attitude to risk; life-stage shopper segments; shopper behaviour; food safety management;

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    1. Richards, Timothy J. & Patterson, Paul M., 1999. "The Economic Value Of Public Relations Expenditures: Food Safety And The Strawberry Case," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 24(02), December.
    2. Nicholas E. Piggott & Thomas L. Marsh, 2004. "Does Food Safety Information Impact U.S. Meat Demand?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(1), pages 154-174.
    3. Wim Verbeke & Ronald W. Ward & Jacques Viaene, 2000. "Probit analysis of fresh meat consumption in Belgium: Exploring BSE and television communication impact," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(2), pages 215-234.
    4. Schroeder, Ted C. & Tonsor, Glynn T. & Pennings, Joost M.E. & Mintert, James R., 2007. "The Role of Consumer Risk Perceptions and Attitudes in Cross Cultural Beef Consumption Changes," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon 10254, Western Agricultural Economics Association.
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