Consumer-perceived quality in ‘traditional’ food chains: the case of the greek meat supply chain.
Sommaire de l'article
Recent food scares have increased consumer concern about meat safety. However, the Greek ‘traditional’ meat supply chain from producers to local butchers does not seem to realise the pressing consumer demand for certified meat quality. Or is it that, in such food chains, this demand is not so pressing yet? The present paper seeks to answer this question based on a survey conducted in the Athens area, involving a sample of 268 participants responsible for food purchasing decisions. The survey mainly aims to develop an integrated model of factors that affect consumer-perceived meat quality and to develop the profile of different consumer segments in relation to these perceptions. The substantial findings of the survey include the fact that, despite their enormous per capita consumption, the majority of consumers are not particularly involved in the meat-purchasing process. Rather they attach importance to visual intrinsic quality cues evaluated in a pre-purchasing context. In this respect, intrinsic quality cues are assigned a role similar to that of quality certification; coupled with the choice of traditional channels and the resulting personal relation with the butcher, they can be understood as efforts to decrease risk of the purchasing decision. Moreover, consumers with such behaviour seem to relate domestic country of origin of meat mostly with perceptions of general safety. Finally, a small, but promising trend with substantial marketing implications of frequent purchases of chicken and pork at supermarkets should not be ignored.