Extended from Hofstede’s cultural framework, this study investigated the differences between the Australian (representing the Western culture) and Chinese (representing the Eastern Culture) consumers in regard to their attention paid to product attribute cues presented on food labels and the degree of such attention controlling for an individual-level moderator of product involvement.
Data were collected using face-to-face interviews with semi-structured questionnaires for both Australian and Chinese samples. The questionnaire data were analysed using factorial between-groups analysis of variance (ANOVA) to investigate the influence of culture and product involvement on the attention paid/degree of attention to product nature-related (e.g. brand name), product assurance-related (e.g. country-of-origin) and health-related attribute (e.g. nutritional panel) cues.
The findings revealed that Chinese consumers, as compared to Australian consumers, paid attention to more product-assurance cues (i.e. country of origin) and health-related cues (i.e. bioactivity indicators). The degrees of attention to these cues were also greater among Chinese consumers than for Australian consumers. Product involvement moderated the relationship between culture and attention towards product nature and product assurance-related cues.
Results from this study enable exporters to customize their labelling design by strategically including label information that is more salient to certain export markets.
This study offers a novel insight into the impact of culture on consumers’ attention to food product attributes and the interaction effects of product involvement on these relationships, hitherto underexplored.
Ho, K.F.X., Liu, F., Tarabashkina, L. and Volery, T. (2022), “Cross-cultural differences in consumers’ attention to food labels”, British Food Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-07-2021-0751
Image: (L to R): Fang Liu, Genyin Wang (Co-Director of One Flower), Kenneth Ho.