Research paper: Cross-cultural differences in consumers’ attention to food labels

Congratulations to Kenneth Ho, Fang Liu, Liudmila Tarabashkina, Thierry Volery for publishing their latest research article in the British Food Journal.

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Practical implications

Results from this study enable exporters to customize their labelling design by strategically including label information that is more salient to certain export markets.

Originality/value

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.