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Explaining attention and choice for origin labeled cheese by means of consumer ethnocentrism

Van Loo, Ellen J., Grebitus, Carola, Roosen, Jutta
Food quality and preference 2019 v.78 pp. 103716
Cheddar cheese, bio-packaging, decision making, prices, provenance, Ireland, Mexico, United States
This study examines the relationship between consumer ethnocentrism, visual attention and choice for origin labeled cheese. It evaluates the impact of consumer ethnocentrism on preferences for domestic products, as well as, on the visual attention paid to the origin labeling during the decision-making. Using a choice experiment, this study investigates US respondents’ preferences for product attributes of cheddar cheese including country of origin (US, Mexico, Ireland), region of origin, hormone use, biodegradable packaging, and price. It provides empirical evidence that the level of consumer ethnocentrism among US consumers influences the preference for US labelled cheese and the visual attention to origin labeling. Specifically, higher consumer ethnocentrism leads to a higher preference for US cheese as compared to Irish cheese. Further, the study reveals that the level of consumer ethnocentrism affects visual attention paid to origin labeling. However, this is only the case in less complex decision situations, when there is little information on other product attributes.