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The Influence of Country of Origin on Chinese Food Consumers


  • Keith Walley

    () (Harper Adams University, UK.)

  • Paul Custance

    () (Harper Adams University, UK.)

  • Tan Feng

    () (Beijing University of Agriculture, China.)

  • Xu Yang

    () (Beijing University of Agriculture, China.)

  • Li Cheng

    () (the International College of Beijing University of Agriculture, China.)

  • Sandra Turner

    () (Harper Adams University, UK.)


The Chinese food market is very large and represents a significant opportunity for overseas companies. If this opportunity is to be exploited, however, there is still a need to understand the Chinese consumer’s response to production by different countries of origin. The purpose of this paper is, therefore, to provide insight into the country of origin effect on the purchase of food products in China. The paper reports the findings of an empirical study conducted in Beijing that was based on a large-scale street survey of consumers. Despite limitations related to representativeness and self-reporting, the study generated a number of useful insights. Specifically, the findings suggest that food originating from overseas is perceived to be of higher quality than food originating from China and that Chinese consumers do not see food originating overseas as all the same but relate quality to the country from which it originates. Food originating from overseas had a perceived advantage in the minds of Chinese consumers, although there is still an inclination to buy Chinese food which may serve as a barrier to entry in this market for overseas companies who do not produce in China itself.

Suggested Citation

  • Keith Walley & Paul Custance & Tan Feng & Xu Yang & Li Cheng & Sandra Turner, 2014. "The Influence of Country of Origin on Chinese Food Consumers," Transnational Marketing Journal, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 2(2), pages 78-98, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:mig:tmjrnl:v:2:y:2014:i:2:p:78-98

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Verbeke, Wim & Roosen, Jutta, 2009. "Market Differentiation Potential of Country-of-origin, Quality and Traceability Labeling," Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy, Estey Centre for Law and Economics in International Trade, vol. 10(1).
    2. Alejandro Plastina & Konstantinos Giannakas & Daniel Pick, 2011. "Market and Welfare Effects of Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling in the U.S. Specialty Crops Sector: An Application to Fresh Market Apples," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 1044-1069, April.
    3. Fred Kuchler & Barry Krissoff & David Harvey, 2010. "Do Consumers Respond to Country-of-Origin Labelling?," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 323-337, December.
    4. Piyush Sharma, 2011. "Country of origin effects in developed and emerging markets: Exploring the contrasting roles of materialism and value consciousness," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 42(2), pages 285-306, February.
    5. Robert A Peterson & Alain J P Jolibert, 1995. "A Meta-Analysis of Country-of-Origin Effects," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 26(4), pages 883-900, December.
    6. Taylor, Mykel R. & Tonsor, Glynn T., 2013. "Revealed Demand for Country-of-Origin Labeling of Meat in the United States," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 38(2), August.
    7. Glynn T. Tonsor & Ted C. Schroeder & Jayson L. Lusk, 2013. "Consumer Valuation of Alternative Meat Origin Labels," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 676-692, September.
    8. Kar H. Lim & Wuyang Hu & Leigh J. Maynard & Ellen Goddard, 2014. "A Taste for Safer Beef? How Much Does Consumers’ Perceived Risk Influence Willingness to Pay for Country‐of‐Origin Labeled Beef," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(1), pages 17-30, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ngoulma, Jeannot, 2015. "Consumers’ willingness to pay for dairy products: what the studies say? A Meta-Analysis," MPRA Paper 65250, University Library of Munich, Germany.


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