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Evaluation of geographical label in consumers’ decision-making process: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Santeramo, Fabio Gaetano and Lamonaca, Emilia (2020): Evaluation of geographical label in consumers’ decision-making process: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Forthcoming in: Food Research International

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Abstract

The Geographical origin of agri-food products has become astrategic tool of differentiation: it is a unique attribute which makes productsdifficult to reproduce, and presumed to be a quality cue for agri-food products. Consumer studies on the relevance of geographical labelling provide heterogeneous evidence on the relevance of this extrinsic attribute as compared to the relevance of other product characteristics. A systematic review of consumer studies on the relevance of geographical labelling has been conducted, and collected data have been quantitatively analysed through a meta-regression approach, in order to assess drivers of differences in relevance of geographical labelling across studies. An ad hoc index has been built to measure the relevance of geographical labelling as compared to other attributes of a product. Several chosen control factors allowed to explain differences in the relevance of geographical label across studies in terms of characteristics of studies (structural heterogeneity), methodological issues (methodological heterogeneity), and publication processes. Results show that the relevance of geographical label, although not biased by publication selection, is influenced by the structural characteristics of studies and, to a lower extent, by issues related to the publication process. In particular, the attitude of consumers towards geographical labels tend to be product- and origin-specific: geographical labelling is the main differentiation tool for expensive products (e.g., wine), but is of low relevance for several countries depending on country-specific factors (e.g., nationality, culture, image and reputation). Managerial and policy implications are provided.

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