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A qui se fier quand les aliments font peur ? Labels, points de vente et décontamination symbolique au Vietnam


  • Figuié, M.
  • Mayer, J.


We use the "symbolic contagion" concept (Rozin and Nemeroff, 1994) and its adaptation to the food modernization framework by Fischler (1994) to analyse the interactions between quality signs and points of sales -street vending, formal and informal open-air market and supermarket- in consumers trust. Our study is based on the empirical case of Hanoi consumers (Vietnam) and vegetables safety. Food safety issues and trust building process in the Vietnamese food chain have changed dramatically during the last years. Quality sign on vegetables can improve consumers trust. But this effect is limited: with or without quality sign, vegetables sold on informal markets are the less trusted ones, and the ones sold in supermarkets are the most trusted. Trust in supermarkets is not linked to consumers purchasing habits. It is partly based on a process of symbolic de-contagion. This is linked to their ability, in a communist country, to symbolize modernity and access to mass consumption after decades of food shortage and political isolation. ...French Abstract : Nous basant sur le concept de contamination symbolique de Rozin et Nemeroff (1994) et sa mobilisation dans le contexte de la modernisation de l'alimentation par Fischler (1994), nous analysons les interactions entre labels et points de vente dans la construction de la confiance des consommateurs. Nous appliquons ce cadre d'analyse aux consommateurs de Hanoi et à la qualité sanitaire des légumes commercialisés. Ce contexte est marqué par d'importants bouleversements à la fois dans les risques sanitaires auxquels ont à faire face les consommateurs, comme dans les points d'appui dont disposent ces derniers pour faire leur choix. Nous montrons que si le label de qualité mis en place pour garantir la qualité sanitaire des légumes permet de renforcer la confiance des consommateurs, cet effet est cependant d'intensité limitée et variable selon les contextes. En particulier, il ne permet pas de modifier la hiérarchie des lieux de confiance. Avec ou sans signes de qualité, les légumes vendus en supermarchés bénéficient de la confiance maximale, ceux vendus sur les marchés informels de la confiance minimale. Cette confiance dans les supermarchés est indépendante de l'expérience des consommateurs. Elle est en grande partie explicable par le pouvoir de décontamination symbolique dont ils jouissent. Ce pouvoir est lié à l'image dont bénéficient les supermarchés, à la fois symbole de la modernisation de ce pays communiste, et de l'accès à la société de consommation mondiale après des décennies de pénurie et d'isolement.

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  • Figuié, M. & Mayer, J., 2010. "A qui se fier quand les aliments font peur ? Labels, points de vente et décontamination symbolique au Vietnam," Working Papers MOISA 201004, UMR MOISA : Marchés, Organisations, Institutions et Stratégies d'Acteurs : CIHEAM-IAMM, CIRAD, INRA, Montpellier SupAgro - Montpellier, France.
  • Handle: RePEc:umr:wpaper:201004

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    1. Thomas Reardon & C. Peter Timmer & Christopher B. Barrett & Julio Berdegué, 2003. "The Rise of Supermarkets in Africa, Asia, and Latin America," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1140-1146.
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    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • D18 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Protection
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • P36 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty

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