Wang, O., Gellynck, X., & Verbeke, W. (2015). General image of and beliefs about European food in two mainland Chinese cities Shanghai and Xi’an. British Food Journal, 117(5), 1581–1595. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-07-2014-0232
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/14242
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to provide a picture of the current image and consumer beliefs of European food in mainland Chinese consumers’ minds. Design/methodology/approach A web-based survey was conducted for data collection in December 2013 with 541 participants from two Chinese cities: Shanghai and Xi’an. The participants reported about the image of European food and characterized European food according to 14 items for product-related beliefs and 18 items for perceived profiles. Descriptive analysis, cluster analysis and partial least squares regression were employed for data analyses. Findings Findings show that European food has a unanimously positive image among mainland Chinese consumers. Three consumer segments were distinguished based on attribute beliefs about European food: a positive-beliefs segment, a negative-beliefs segment and an unfamiliar segment. The characteristics of typical European food consumers were high income, having long overseas experience, having visited Europe or living in a big and developed city. In addition, “safe” and “upscale” were the most important attribute beliefs driving mainland Chinese consumers to have a positive image of European food; while “unfamiliar” and “sweet” were the most negative drivers of European food’s image. Originality/value This is the first study to present information about consumer beliefs, general image and consumer segments in relation to European food in mainland China. These insights can help European food marketers to better understand mainland Chinese consumers and the current image of their products in mainland China so that they can develop effective marketing strategies for this huge and potential food market.
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