Even though many studies focus on consumer perception of local food, only limited research concerns mountain areas. This paper aims to fill this gap by concentrating on the potential value of mountain food products, with particular reference to young consumers’ perceptions. To this end, an online survey was conducted on a sample of 4079 University students using a specific questionnaire. Collected data underwent hierarchical cluster analysis, defining four clusters. Respondents were found to consider “mountain products” a fundamental commodity with reference to all related categories of food (cheese, meat, honey, fruits and vegetables) and believed that all stages of the supply chain should be carried out in mountain areas. All of the four clusters also reported a positive perception of mountain products, and they associated mountain foodstuffs with various key concepts, such as sustainable development (32.56%, two clusters), local traditions and specialities (49.11%, two clusters) and health (18.34%, three clusters). Therefore, this study provides useful insights for institutions, by further reinforcing the importance of agri-food products in the collective imagination of consumers and producers in mountain areas by promoting understanding of the characteristics sought by younger generations. Finally, this study contributes to increasing knowledge of mountain food products and related perceptions among younger consumers and expands contemporary literature on consumers in mountain market areas.

Mountain Food Products: A Cluster Analysis Based on Young Consumers’ Perceptions

alessandro bonadonna
;
Stefano Duglio;Luigi Bollani;Giovanni Peira
2022-01-01

Abstract

Even though many studies focus on consumer perception of local food, only limited research concerns mountain areas. This paper aims to fill this gap by concentrating on the potential value of mountain food products, with particular reference to young consumers’ perceptions. To this end, an online survey was conducted on a sample of 4079 University students using a specific questionnaire. Collected data underwent hierarchical cluster analysis, defining four clusters. Respondents were found to consider “mountain products” a fundamental commodity with reference to all related categories of food (cheese, meat, honey, fruits and vegetables) and believed that all stages of the supply chain should be carried out in mountain areas. All of the four clusters also reported a positive perception of mountain products, and they associated mountain foodstuffs with various key concepts, such as sustainable development (32.56%, two clusters), local traditions and specialities (49.11%, two clusters) and health (18.34%, three clusters). Therefore, this study provides useful insights for institutions, by further reinforcing the importance of agri-food products in the collective imagination of consumers and producers in mountain areas by promoting understanding of the characteristics sought by younger generations. Finally, this study contributes to increasing knowledge of mountain food products and related perceptions among younger consumers and expands contemporary literature on consumers in mountain market areas.
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https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/14/19/12511
mountain food product; young generation; consumer perception; cluster analysis; food
alessandro bonadonna; Stefano Duglio; Luigi Bollani; Giovanni Peira
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1875408
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