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Analysis of personal and cultural values as key determinants of novel food acceptance. Application to an ethnic product

Barrena, Ramo, García, Teresa, Sánchez, Mercedes
Appetite 2015 v.87 pp. 205-214
consumer preferences, cultural values, food acceptability, novel foods, provenance
This paper sets out to analyse whether the complexity and the type of benefits and values pursued in the consumer choice process for a novel food product (couscous) varies with the consumer's ethnic origin (Spanish and Arab). A qualitative study was used to explore these issues in an application of the “means–end chain” theory. The hierarchical value maps obtained point to the presence of an important emotional dimension in the consumption of the selected product, particularly Arab consumers, suggesting that greater familiarity with the product results in a more complex choice process. Some cross-cultural variation can also be observed. Arab consumers attach more importance to issues such as the geographic origin of the product, cultural identification, and fulfilment of family duty. Spanish couscous consumers, meanwhile, claim that it is a way to follow the latest trends, and be more cosmopolitan and more successful within their environment.