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Product attributes and consumer attitudes affecting the preferences for infant milk formula in China – A latent class approach

El Benni, N.; Stolz, H.; Home, R.; Kendall, H.; Kuznesof, S.; Clark, B.; Dean, M.; Brereton, P.; Frewer, L. J.; Chang, M. Y.; Zhong, Q. and Stolze, M. (2019) Product attributes and consumer attitudes affecting the preferences for infant milk formula in China – A latent class approach. Food Quality and Preference, 71, pp. 25-33.

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Document available online at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0950329318303811

Summary in the original language of the document

A series of food safety incidents has led to low levels of trust in the safety of domestically produced Chinese infant milk formula. Concerned parents in China increasingly source ‘foreign-produced’ brands and use a range of authenticity cues as assurance of the safety and authenticity of infant formula products. However, the effectiveness of authenticity cues in providing assurance to Chinese consumers has not been evaluated. The aim of this study is to analyse the importance of various authenticity cues for infant milk product choices. Latent class models were used to analyse responses to an online choice experiment with 350 consumers of European infant formula in three Chinese cities: Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu. The model included respondents’ preferences for different labels, authenticity cues and price along with perceptions, attitudes, and socio-demographic characteristics. We identified two consumer segments, with one preferring lower priced infant formula and the second choosing higher priced products. All authenticity cues, including price, appear to serve as indicators of food quality and safety, and all were found to be highly important information sources for the respondents when making purchase decisions. In general, Chinese consumers are prepared to pay a premium for authenticity assurance. Chinese policy makers and the infant formula industry should continue to improve quality control systems to increase consumers’ trust in food value chains. These control systems should comprise the whole food supply chain, from production to marketing, and should focus on building trust and communicating credibility.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Food integrity, Authenticity, China, Consumers, Infant milk formula, Latent class choice modelling, consumer research, Abacus, FiBL3510507
Subjects: Food systems > Food security, food quality and human health
Food systems > Policy environments and social economy
"Organics" in general > Countries and regions > China
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Society > Rural sociology
UK > Other organizations United Kingdom
UK > Univ. Newcastle
Deposited By: Stolz, Dr. Hanna
ID Code:36358
Deposited On:20 Aug 2019 11:08
Last Modified:11 Jun 2024 12:44
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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