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«German consumers’ attitudes and preferences with regard to organic food and food from different origins Dissertation zur Erlangung des akademischen ...»

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German consumers’ attitudes and preferences with regard to

organic food and food from different origins

Dissertation zur Erlangung des akademischen Grades eines Doktors

der Agrarwissenschaften (Dr. agr.)

Vorgelegt im Fachbereich Ökologische Agrarwissenschaften der

Universität Kassel

Von Corinna Hempel

Braunschweig, 16.12.2015

Jahr der Veröffentlichung: 2016

Autor: Corinna Hempel

Dissertation an der Universität Kassel

Fachgebiet Agrar- und Lebensmittelmarketing

Datum der Disputation: 9. Mai 2016

1. Gutachter: Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hamm, Fachgebiet Agrar- und Lebensmittelmarketing, Universität Kassel

2. Gutachter: Dr. Susanne Padel, Organic Research Centre, Newbury, Großbritannien I Acknowledgements First of all, I would like to thank my supervisor Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hamm from the Department of Agricultural and Food Marketing of the University of Kassel for his patient guidance.

Without his continuous support, his useful advice and his dedication to give timely feedback, it would have taken much longer to finalize this dissertation.

I am grateful to my colleagues at the Department of Agricultural and Food Marketing for their support and many inspiring meetings. Special thanks go to Antje for all those discussions on the methodological approach, in which we always encountered new challenges, but were also able to solve many problems together.

I also thank my second supervisor Dr. Susanne Padel from the Organic Research Centre in the UK for her advice and support.

The primary data that are the basis of my dissertation were collected within the research project “Trade-off in food purchasing decisions – non-organic and local, organic and local, or organic and from far-away?”. I gratefully acknowledge the funding of this project by the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE) within the framework of the Federal Programme for Organic Agriculture and Other Forms of Sustainable Agriculture (BÖLN, 2812OE028).

Last but not least, I want to thank Nico and my family for their unconditional support and patience in all my personal and academic endeavours.

II Declaration of originality This dissertation contains three scientific articles written by me as the first author and Prof.

Dr. Ulrich Hamm as co-author. All articles have been submitted to peer-reviewed journals,

listed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science:

1. Feldmann, C. & Hamm, U. (2015), Consumers’ perceptions and preferences for local food: A review. Food Quality and Preference 40 (2015), 152–164.

2. Hempel, C. & Hamm, U. (2015), Local and/or organic: A study on consumer preferences for organic food and food from different origins. Submitted to International Journal ofConsumer Studies

3. Hempel, C. & Hamm, U. (2016), How important is local food to organic-minded consumers? Appetite 96 (2016), 309-318.

The present dissertation is based on empirical research carried out within the project “Tradeoff in food purchasing decisions – non-organic and local, organic and local, or organic and from far-away” funded by the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE) within the framework of the Federal Programme for Organic Agriculture and Other Forms of Sustainable Agriculture (BÖLN). Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hamm was the supervisor of the consumer study within this project. The research design and procedure of data collection and analysis were developed by me. The computer-assisted interviews and choice experiments were programmed by the company Bierwirth & Gabele SoftwareDesign. The market research company T.I.P Biehl & Partner collected the data for us. I analysed the data and wrote the raw manuscripts of the journal articles presented in this dissertation. Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hamm developed the project idea with me and provided advice and feedback at all steps of the research process.

Apart from the journal articles listed above, the following publications contain selected results

presented in this dissertation:

1. Hamm, U. & Feldmann, C.: “Consumer expectations towards local/regional food.” Presentation at the Rhine-Waal University. Kleve, 09/05/2014.

–  –  –

3. Feldmann, C. & Hamm, U.: “Hat die ökologische Produktion von Lebensmitteln einen Einfluss auf die Kaufentscheidung bei Produkten verschiedener Herkünfte?” Poster at the 54th Annual Conference of the German Society of Economic and Social Sciences in Agriculture (GEWISOLA), Göttingen (Germany), 18/09/2014.

4. Feldmann, C. & Hamm, U.: “Öko und/oder Regional: Eine Studie zu Zahlungsbereitschaften.” Presentation at the 24th Annual Conference of the Austrian Society of Agricultural Economics (ÖGA), Vienna (Austria), 24-25/9/2014.

5. Hamm, U.: “Effizienzpotentiale im Öko-Landbau realisieren – Ansatzpunkte, Bewertung und Umsetzung bei der Produkt- und Preisdifferenzierung.” Presentation at the winter meeting of the German Agricultural Society (DLG), Berlin (Germany), 14/01/2015.

6. Feldmann, C. & Hamm, U.: “Consumers’ demand for local organic food.” Presentation at the Biofach Congress, Nuremberg (Germany), 12/02/2015.

7. Feldmann, C. & Hamm, U. (2015).: “Welche Bedeutung hat Regionalität für Konsumenten, denen Öko-Lebensmittel wichtig sind?” Publication in Zahlen, Daten, Fakten – Die Bio-Branche 2015, Bund Ökologischer Lebensmittelwirtschaft e.V.

(ed.), Berlin (Germany).

I declare that this dissertation is my own work. Information derived from the published and unpublished work of others has been acknowledged in the text. This work or parts thereof have not been submitted in any form for another degree at any university or other institute of tertiary education.

Hiermit versichere ich, dass ich die vorliegende Dissertation selbstständig, ohne unerlaubte Hilfe Dritter angefertigt und andere als die in der Dissertation angegebenen Hilfsmittel nicht benutzt habe. Alle Stellen, die wörtlich oder sinngemäß aus veröffentlichten oder unveröffentlichten Schriften entnommen sind, habe ich als solche kenntlich gemacht. Dritte waren an der inhaltlich-materiellen Erstellung der Dissertation nicht beteiligt; insbesondere habe ich hierfür nicht die Hilfe eines Promotionsberaters in Anspruch genommen. Kein Teil dieser Arbeit ist in einem anderen Promotions- oder Habilitationsverfahren verwendet worden.

–  –  –

Table of contents Acknowledgements

Declaration of originality

Table of contents

List of tables

List of figures

List of abbreviations

1 Introduction

1.1 Thematic overview on this research

1.2 Research objectives

1.3 Outline of the dissertation

2 Theoretical framework

2.1 Behavioural consumer theory

2.1.1 Consumer attitudes, behaviour and decision-making processes

2.1.2 Stimulus-Organism-Response Model

2.2 Economic consumer theory

2.2.1 Framing choice experiments

2.2.2 Random Utility Theory

2.2.3 Lancaster’s Theory of Consumer Demand

3 Methodological approach

3.1 Literature analysis as an introductory approach

3.2 Consumer survey

3.2.1 Data collection through consumer survey

3.2.2 Survey design

3.2.3 Data analysis

3.3 Choice of preference elicitation method

–  –  –

3.4.1 Experimental/choice design

3.4.2 Data analysis

3.5 Stepwise research procedure

4 Results

4.1 Consumers’ perceptions and preferences for local food: A review



4.1.2 Introduction

4.1.3 Theoretical model: Alphabet Theory

4.1.4 Methodology

4.1.5 Overview of the selected studies

4.1.6 Results

4.1.7 Concluding discussion

4.1.8 Acknowledgements

4.1.9 References

4.1.10 Annex

4.2 Local and/or organic: A study on consumer preferences for organic food and food from different origins

4.2.1 Abstract

4.2.2 Introduction

4.2.3 Background

4.2.4 Research objective and hypotheses

4.2.5 Theoretical framework

4.2.6 Methodology

4.2.7 Results and discussion

4.2.8 Conclusions and recommendations

4.2.9 Acknowledgements

4.2.10 References

4.3 How important is local food to organic-minded consumers?

VI 4.3.1 Abstract

4.3.2 Keywords

4.3.3 Highlights

4.3.4 Introduction

4.3.5 Theoretical background

4.3.6 Methodology

4.3.7 Results

4.3.8 Discussion and conclusions

4.3.9 Acknowledgements

4.3.10 References

4.3.11 Appendix

5 Discussion and conclusions

5.1 Discussion

5.1.1 Discussion of the results in a German context

5.1.2 Discussion of the results in the context of international studies

5.1.3 Merits and limitations of the present research

5.2 Conclusions and recommendations

6 Summary

6.1 English summary

6.2 Zusammenfassung

Reference List

–  –  –

List of tables Table 1: Stepwise presentation of the survey design procedure

Table 2: Sampling scheme of this study

Table 3: Benefits and limitations of preference elicitation methods

Table 4: Prices and countries of origin for different products used in choice experiment....... 25 Table 5: Research articles based on a mixed methods approach

Table 6: Research articles based on a qualitative approach

Table 7: Research articles based on a quantitative approach

Table 8: Prices and importing countries for different products used in choice experiment..... 78 Table 9: Description of the sample differentiated by survey region

Table 10: Coefficients, standard errors, and model quality factors of RPL models................ 82 Table 11: Prices and countries of origin for different products used in choice experiment.. 102 Table 12: Consumers’ sociodemographic data

Table 13: Coefficients (β-values), standard errors, and quality criteria of RPL-models for both groups and all four products

List of figures Figure 1: Overview on preference elicitation methods

Figure 2: Description of the research process (own illustration)

Figure 3: Alphabet Theory from Zepeda and Deal (2009), adapted

Figure 4: Number of publications from January 2000 to January 2014

Figure 5: Percentages of different types of methodology in publication

Figure 6: SOR model adopted from Foscht & Swoboda (2011)

Figure 7: Price premiums for origin attributes (in %)

Figure 8: Price premiums for organic and local (in %)

Figure 9: WTP estimates for all product attributes (in €) - Example for Butter

Figure 10: WTP estimates for apples, steaks, flour, and butter, differentiated by rural and urban residences of consumers

Figure 11: Arithmetic mean values of consumers’ evaluation of statements on organic and local food purchase behaviour

Figure 12: Consumers’ confidence in food from different countries

Figure 13: Willingness-to-pay estimates (in €) for apples, butter, flour, and steaks for both groups

VIII List of abbreviations

–  –  –

1 Introduction

1.1 Thematic overview on this research The topic of this study has developed from the increasing interest of German consumers for the origin of food products, in particular for locally produced food (Gahmann and Antonoff, 2012; GfK Consumer Scan, 2013; Oekobarometer, 2013; Warschun et al., 2014). According to Warschun et al. (2014) more than 80% of German, Austrian and Swiss consumers purchase local food several times a month. About 80% of those consumers, who strongly identify with the region they live in, buy local food on a weekly basis. In contrast, only 22% of the Germans claim to buy organic food products very often or exclusively and 52% buy them from time to time (Oekobarometer, 2013). Interestingly, the Oekobarometer study (2013) reveals local food production as the most important reason for organic-minded consumers to purchase organic food (87%). Altogether, 92% of all respondents prefer local over organically produced food, while 77% favour a combination of local and organic food production (Oekobarometer, 2013). Similarly, the GfK Consumer Scan (2013) shows that almost half of the consumers evaluate local food production as very positive, mostly out of moral reasons;

this share has increased by three percentage points since 2010. Likewise, organic as well as fairtrade food production has gained in importance, but remains at a comparatively low level with about one quarter of the consumers who value these attributes of food production (GfK Consumer Scan, 2013).

The two main reasons for the purchase of local food are taste and freshness (Warschun et al., 2013; Warschun et al., 2014), whereas for organic food purchases animal welfare and the avoidance of pesticide residues are of greater importance, closely followed by freshness and food quality in general. Results of Gahmann and Antonoff (2012), presented in the Nestlé study, reveal that an increasing amount of German consumers rather considers quality than price in food purchases compared to a few years ago. However, it seems questionable, if consumers are really able to correctly assess food product quality. It is assumed that consumers’ demand for local food production has been growing, because it is used as a proxy for quality (Gahmann and Antonoff, 2012).

Consumer surveys on food report a growing competition between local and organic food in Germany (Oekobarometer, 2013; Warschun et al., 2014). Especially for fresh products (i.e.

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