Importance of food labeling as a mean of information and traceability according to consumers
Consumption patterns have considerably changed over recent years. We are witnessing more and more frequently to a lack of information (i.e. information asymmetry) between food producers and consumers, this generates in the consumer the latter need to access information related to processes of production of food and food distribution. Decision-making, in absence of further information, leads consumers to pay attention to food labeling. Food labels become the only tool for consumers to acquire additional information about products in order to make the purchase decision. In today’s modern and globalized market, labels limitations can be partially overcome by using Mobile Marketing tools, such as the QR Code (Quick Response Code). Therefore the objective of this study is: (1) categorize profiles of consumers according
to the importance given to various information patterns shown on food labeling; (2) discover consumer behaviors when making a purchasing decision based on food information they require in the label; (3) discover consumer profiles with regards to food quality and the use QR Code to acquire further information about food products. Two Italian regional capitals were chosen, as representative of Northern and Southern Italy, basing on the geographical division of the Country
made by the ISTAT (Istituto Nazionale di Statistica). The interviews were carried out by telephone, using a questionnaire. Data collected were processed by Multidimensional Scaling We discovered eight profiles of consumers with different purchasing behaviors. Some consumer profiles, with lifestyles typical of contemporary life, use the QR Code to obtain additional information about food products. The innovative purchasing behavior identifies a consumer who is particularly interested in food quality and safety. Agri-food businesses that focus on quality productions could target the innovative profile and communicate further information through the use of modern communication technologies.
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