Local food systems providing high-value products are seen as a tool to sustain economic activity on family farms in rural areas. The objective of this study is to investigate the role of gastronomic, externality and feasibility characteristics in consumers’ demand for local and for organic foods. An internet questionnaire survey was conducted in 2010 among Danish consumers. 3.211 respondents completed the questionnaire, which included questions about respondents' food-related values and their specific perception of organic and local varieties of honey and apples. Variables related to consumers' food-related values and product perception were analyzed using principal component analysis, in order to identify overall dimensions (factors) in these variables. Although statements about gastronomic attributes (e.g. taste, appearance, quality) were quite strongly represented in three of these factors, externality and availability concerns also contributed significantly to the overall variation in the variables. Multinomial logit choice modelling was used for describing the relationship between these dimensions and respondents’ stated choices regarding organic and local varieties of honey and apples. Results suggest that although both organic and local food supply chains are often associated with special attributes such as gastronomic characteristics and relatively beneficial externality attributes, these attributes are perceived differently for the two types of supply chains. Perceived gastronomic quality is the most important determinant for food choice, but externality and feasibility aspects are also important correlates.
International Journal of Consumer Studies, 2013, Vol 37, Issue 6, p. 634-641