The Country and Region of Origin Effect in a Transition Economy – A Case-Study of Hungary

ZOLTÁN LAKNER; ERZSÉBET SZABÓ; SÉNYI JUDIT MONSTPARTNÉ

Published: 28.11.2000  〉 Heft 12/2000  〉 Resort: Articles 
Submitted: N. A.   〉 Feedback to authors after first review: N. A.   〉 Accepted: N. A.

ABSTRACT

The importance of the country - and region - of origin is increasing in Central European transition economies, too. Based on a series of direct-question surveys, the article analyzes the place (country and region) of origin effect on food choice decisions of Hungarian food consumers regarding various agricultural and food industrial products. For Hungarian consumers in general the place of origin effect has a lesser importance than for Western European buyers. By a combination of factor and cluster analysis, three main consumer segments can be separated: for most of Hungarian consumers the most important product attributes are practical attributes, price and former experiences with the product. The second important segment of consumers try to minimize the various risks at buying. The share of consumers for whom the image of the firm and the brand is a factor of primary importance is only rather small yet, only about 8 per cent. In an era of globalization and increasing importance of foreign direct investment the meaning of Hungarian origin is a problematic one. For most of Hungarian consumers the domestic origin of raw material was the most important attribute in this regard, but respondents with lower educational qualification considered the Hungarian ownership of the producing firm as an important characteristic of Hungarian products. There was a statistically significant relationship between consumer value system and their attitude towards imported products. Analyzing the image of food products from some Western European countries and the USA as well as from some parts of Hungary it is obvious that the quality of Hungarian food industrial products is rather underestimated. There was a strong correlation between the economic development of various Hungarian regions and the perception of the quality of regional food products by the consumers.
CONTACT AUTHOR
LAKNER ZOLTÁN, Szent István University - Department of Food Economy, H-1118 Budapest, Villányi út 35-43. - SZABÓ ERZÉBET, Central Institute of Food Research, H-1028 Budapest, Hermann Ottó ut 15. - MONSZPARTNÉ SÉNYI J., Szent István University. Department of Canning Technology, H-1118 Budapest, Villányi út 35-43.
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