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Chinese distribution practitioners' attitudes towards Italian quality foods


  • Hasimu Huliyeti
  • Sergio Marchesini
  • Maurizio Canavari


Purpose - Food products' ultimate destination is intended for the general public, but those who supply the international markets are usually composed of a relatively small group of businessmen including international buyers, purchasing agents and importers. Understanding the motivation behind their purchasing decisions and the perceptions they have of the source countries can be considered a key factor in developing a successful marketing approach. This paper focuses on understanding the position of such a powerful minority towards imported Italian, high-quality agro-food products in China, as well as the current communication, marketing, strategic and organizational approaches of Italian producers, especially compared to other European competitors. Design/methodology/approach - An exploratory approach based on qualitative interviews is adopted, with the aim of highlighting Chinese perceptions regarding Italian food suppliers' relevant strengths and weaknesses. The primary data were collected through personal interviews with 25 key informants in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. Findings - Survey results indicated that while Italian products are appreciated, current market shares remain inferior to other countries due to inadequate marketing strategies and low investments in promotion. Price sensitivity of Chinese consumers, less-established distribution channels and competition with local products hindered further the market penetration. Originality/value - At the best of our knowledge there is no prior research concerning the gatekeepers attitudes towards quality food in the Chinese market. The paper provides a useful insight into a topic that is relevant togathers of marketing intelligence and planners of marketing strategy for China's market access in the rapidly changing and highly competitive food trade environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Hasimu Huliyeti & Sergio Marchesini & Maurizio Canavari, 2008. "Chinese distribution practitioners' attitudes towards Italian quality foods," Journal of Chinese Economic and Foreign Trade Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 1(3), pages 214-231, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:ceftpp:v:1:y:2008:i:3:p:214-231

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    9. Krupp, Corinne, 1994. "Antidumping Cases in the U.S. Chemical Industry: A Panel Data Approach," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 299-311, September.
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    11. Robert M. Feinberg, 2005. "U.S. Antidumping Enforcement and Macroeconomic Indicators Revisited: Do Petitioners Learn?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 141(4), pages 612-622, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Azar, Goudarz, 2011. "Food Culture Distance: An Antecedent to Export Marketing Strategy Adaptation - An Empirical Examination of Swedish and Finnish Food Processing Companies," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 14(3).


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