Can COO Labeling be a Means of Pepper Differentiation: Quality Expectation and Taste Experience
Country of Origin (COO) labeling has been shown in several studies to be an important extrinsic cue for consumers in their quality evaluation of food products such as olive oil. COO has not been discussed in the context of pepper; a spice which’s quality is highly dependant on its heritage. This is the first study that combines face-to-face interviews regarding attitudes, image and knowledge with a bind tasting of pepper and an investigation of consumer's WTP for pepper from different origins and processing characteristics. The study reveals that organic consumes are able to experience taste differences to due COO. They expect taste differences. But also concerned and involved consumers are not to that extent informed about COO that they rely in their purchase decision on COO information. As a result consumers are not willing to pay a significant higher price for COO labeled pepper.
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