Consumer preferences for domestic and organically labelled vegetables in Sweden

Lena Ekelund, Fredrik Fernqvist, Heléne Tjärnemo

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel


The aim of our research is to examine Swedish consumers’ perception and preferences of domestic vegetables compared to on the one hand imported and on the other hand organically grown vegetables. The paper draws from two consumer studies. The first study is a text analysis of consumers’ associations to the four concepts Swedish, imported, organic and conventional vegetables as well as a conjoint analysis of the relative importance of the same four characteristics in the case of carrots. The second study is a taste experiment on tomatoes from the same Swedish grower labelled in three different ways, as Swedish, Dutch or organic. The conjoint analysis indicates that Swedish origin is considered more important than organic production methods. The text analysis shows that Swedish is associated with positive values, for instance, high quality, while imports have a more negative image. Organic is associated with characteristics such as being non-toxic, good quality and expensive while conventional is associated with poison, being good enough and traditional. The preference for Swedish vegetables is supported by the taste study. Tomatoes that were labelled as Swedish or organic were perceived as tastier than tomatoes labelled as Dutch. Thus, the experience of taste seems to be affected by the labelling. The conclusion is that to many Swedish consumers “Swedish is good enough” as a quality criterion. However, the research situation differs from a real shopping environment, where consumers make choices between bundles of different attributes, not only provenance and production method. Moreover, in a real shopping situation supermarkets promote their own private brands, regardless of origin, thus make origin less accentuated.
TidskriftActa Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section C — Food Economics
StatusPublicerad - 2007-dec.-01
Externt publiceradJa

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