IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ags/iefi10/100468.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Naturalness and Consumer Choices: The Case of Microfiltered Milk

Author

Listed:
  • Coppola, Adele
  • Verneau, Fabio

Abstract

Food is a very sensitive area and the most intimate form of consumption. Consumer choice is known to be strongly affected by emotional factors usually not taken into account in economic analysis. At the same time it is clear that such emotional factors can affect consumer behaviour and market reactions above all when there are scandals and concerns. One of the emotional aspects that seems to dominate consumer behaviour in the food sector is so‐called magical thinking which leans on two different pillars: the contagion principle and the similarity principle. The contagion principle affects the concept of naturalness which, according to cognitive psychologists, is a key factor in determining consumer preferences. The main element stemming from this psychological approach is the generalised superiority which characterises those foods which are perceived as natural by consumers. It has also been observed that the specific kind of processing as well as the adding or subtracting of unnatural elements can modify the perception of naturalness and the degree of acceptability for food products. A survey which bore all such considerations in mind was conducted on a sample of 180 people interviewed shortly after their shopping trip to super‐ and hyper‐markets in the province of Naples. A questionnaire was submitted to sample in winter 2009. The questionnaire collected information about the perception of naturalness and its role in determining consumer preferences for different food products and different kinds of processing. A specific section of the questionnaire covered a case study and gathered information about the willingness to buy a specific food product: pasteurized and microfiltered fresh cow’s milk. This product has the same nutritional qualities and the same taste as fresh pasteurized cow’s milk, but has a longer shelf‐life due to specific technology. On the basis of the results and by using a binary model, consumer willingness to purchase the specific milk was estimated. The findings permit an analysis of the role that both different types of product processing or manipulation and the various forms of innovation can play in determining levels of trust and modifying the discrepancy between objective and perceived quality.

Suggested Citation

  • Coppola, Adele & Verneau, Fabio, 2010. "Naturalness and Consumer Choices: The Case of Microfiltered Milk," 2010 Internatonal European Forum, February 8-12, 2010, Innsbruck-Igls, Austria 100468, International European Forum on Innovation and System Dynamics in Food Networks.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iefi10:100468
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/100468
    Download Restriction: no

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:iefi10:100468. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: http://www.fooddynamics.org/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.