Year of Publication

2014

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture, Food and Environment

Department

Agricultural Economics

First Advisor

Dr. Wuyang Hu

Abstract

Country of origin (COO) effect is a well-researched topic in the international marketing literature. It is well recognized that consumers are biased against imports, due to consumer ethnocentrism or patriotism tendency. However, the research on COO effects also suggests that consumers form certain image of origin countries (COO image) and favorable image, be it associated with the countries, their people, or general product quality, improves the evaluation and acceptance of foreign imports.

The publications related to COO effects which focus on consumer durables are abundant. However, the contrasting COO effects on food products are much less investigated. This study surveys British consumers’ preference for domestic versus imported beef. Like previous studies, a strong preference for domestic beef was found. Furthermore, individual characteristics which potentially influence such preference were examined. Using scores on consumer patriotism and COO image perception as interacting individual characteristics in the choice models, it was found that stronger preference against imports was linked to higher level of the respondents perceived patriotic sentiment toward their home country, while better COO image improved the likelihood of the foreign country’s beef being selected. Marketing and policy implications are discussed.

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