1 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 Department of Management - MAPP - Centre for Research on Value Creation in the Food Sector, Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University3 School of Business, Sun Yat-sen University4 School of Taxation and Public Finance, Guangdong University of Business Studies5 China Mobile Group Guangdong Co. Ltd6 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
Purpose – Values-attitudes hierarchical models are quite frequent in the consumer behaviour literature. In attitudinal models speciﬁc to food produced in an environmentally friendly way (i.e. “green” food), past research evidence mainly originating in Western cultures posits that the strongest path of the model can be found among collectivistic consumer values, general environmental attitudes, and attitudes speciﬁc to green food. On the other hand, in non-Western cultures (i.e. China), green food (e.g. organic) is perceived by consumers as safer to consume. With this as point of departure, the present paper aims to examine whether attitudes towards green food in a values-attitudes model in China are determined as postulated in past Western research. Design/methodology/approach – A “typical” (i.e. Western research evidence-based) values-attitudes hierarchical model was developed and a questionnaire comprising 34 items reﬂecting the conceptual model was designed. Data collection was focused on six major Chinese cities, as this is where the current changes in eating habits are predominantly taking place. Data were collected by personal interviews conducted by local researchers between January and March 2009 through a mall-intercept method. A total number of 479 respondents were recruited, equally distributed among the six cities. Findings – Collectivistic values and environmental attitudes were still found to be strong determinants of Chinese consumers’ attitudes towards green foods; contrary to relevant Western ﬁndings, however, collectivism also inﬂuenced technological attitudes; which, in turn, inﬂuenced attitudes towards green food jointly with environmental attitudes. These ﬁndings point to the conclusion that Chinese consumers, possibly guided by altruistic predispositions, see technology as a positive determinant of both food safety and environmental friendliness in food production. Empirical ﬁndings like these highlight the need for adaptation of well-substantiated models to completely customised research approaches within new globally rising environments. Originality/value – It is still not quite clear how green food products are perceived in South-East Asian consumer cultures, as well as in other non-Western contexts. This scarcity makes the empirical examination of well-established values-attitudes hierarchies in such contexts valuable from an academic and practitioner’s point of view.
Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, 2014, Vol 26, Issue 2, p. 296-314
MAPP; China; Food safety; Green food; Value-attitudes hierachy