Local conventional versus imported organic food products: Consumers' preferences
This contribution gives a deeper insight into consumers’ preferences for different food products varying in their countries of origin (i.e. local, Germany, neighboring country, non-EU country) and the way of production (i.e. organic vs. non-organic). Surveys combined with choice experiments were conducted with 641 consumers in eight regions in Germany. Random parameter logit models were estimated to draw conclusions on consumers’ preferences for organic and/or local food. This study adds to the international research and provides better insights into this topic, as four different products were included and surveys were conducted in different regions across Germany. Results reveal that consumers prefer locally produced food to organic food. Conclusions on consumers’ preferences, however, should not be generalized since they vary depending on product type and consumers’ places of residence. When looking at the willingness-to-pay (WTP) estimates for ‘organic’ and ‘local’ while distinguishing between consumers from different regions of Germany, results indicate that consumers living in rural areas and consumers living in the Eastern part of Germany are less willing to pay a premium for organic products than urban consumers and consumers from other parts of Germany. Since preferences for origin attributes and organic production vary between different types of food products and in different regions of Germany, market actors should design marketing activities accordingly.