The role of food involvement and lifestyle in influencing consumption of local food

Authors: Birch, D. and Memery, J.

Start date: 13 June 2016

In recent times, there has been increased interest in locally produced food with consumers’ purchases driven by a wish to support local growers, retailers and regional economies. Other drivers of local food include intrinsic attributes such as taste, freshness, seasonality, wholesomeness and quality, as well as ethical concerns regarding the protection of the environment and animal welfare. However, studies have revealed that psychological factors such as food involvement and food-related lifestyle also influence food choice. To explore this finding in the context of local food, this study investigates the relative importance of food involvement and lifestyle in influencing consumers’ attitudes towards, and purchase frequency of, local food. Based on a sample of 307 Australian consumers, findings reveal that both food involvement and lifestyle factors influence purchase frequency of local food for both at home and out of home consumption. Recommendations for producers and retailers of local food, as well as directions for future research are discussed.

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