Importance of Regional and Traditional EU Quality Schemes in Young Consumer Food Purchasing Decisions
Purpose: The general objective of this paper was to evaluate the significance of EU designations such as Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG) in the food purchasing decisions made by consumers. Specific objectives include: determining familiarity with products bearing EU designations, identifying factors affecting the purchase, determining the type of most frequently purchased products and identifying their purchase locations. Design/Methodology/Approach: The evaluation was carried out using PAPI and CAWI surveys (survey questionnaire) . The surveys were carried out in 2016 among 1.364 students from four countries: Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia and Ukraine. Findings: The results of the surveys point to a relatively small significance of EU designations in the purchasing decisions made by young consumers of food products. The surveys made it possible to identify the most important determinants of the choice of food products, including: product price, freshness and best before date. Analysing the behaviours of buyers from respective countries it can be observed that the evaluations of the significance of factors determining the choice of a product are not much different, which can be explained by progressing globalization and unification of consumer behaviours. In addition, it can be noted that the surveyed buyers are not very fluent in differentiating between respective types of designations such as PDO, PGI and TSG. Practical Implications: The survey made it possible to evaluate the behaviour of young consumers on the food market to the extent of the choice of products with EU designations and to formulate recommendations for producers and sellers as well as identify the directions of further research. Originality/Value: The added value of this paper is cross-sectional analysis of multiple factors shaping decisions on the choice of EU-certified food products by young consumers using the example of selected EU member states in comparison to a non-EU country – Ukraine.