Product-country images and preference heterogeneity for Mediterranean food products: A discrete choice framework

Wiley Interscience
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Agribusiness: An International Journal, 2005, 21 (3), pp. 329 - 349
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Despite the importance of region of origin ~ROO! as a quality indicator and EU recognition of territorial specificity in food products, there is still a dearth of work investigating the importance of regional ~both national and territorial! identity in consumer perceptions for specific food product categories+ Employing nationwide discrete choice data for Italy, we investigate the strength of the ROO attribute across three food product categories+ Moreover, in addition to treating taste heterogeneity as conditional on socioeconomic factors, we employ recent advances in discrete-choice modeling to test for unobserved heterogeneity in consumer preferences for domestic and territorial origin of production certification+ The results show evidence of home bias in preference across all three food products, while preference heterogeneity is exhibited for table grapes and oil, but not for oranges+ The analysis shows that unobserved heterogeneity, as represented by mixed logit models, appears to explain more of the observed choice variation than heterogeneity associated to socioeconomic characteristics
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