City Research Online

China and the USA, a higher perceived risk for UK consumers in a post COVID-19 food system: the impact of country of origin and ethical information on consumer perceptions of food

Armstrong, B. & Reynolds, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-1073-7394 (2020). China and the USA, a higher perceived risk for UK consumers in a post COVID-19 food system: the impact of country of origin and ethical information on consumer perceptions of food. Emerald Open Research, 2, 35. doi: 10.35241/emeraldopenres.13711.1

Abstract

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted global food systems and consumer eating habits. The current study explores how country of origin and ethical status information impacts attitudes toward food.

Methods: A within-subjects survey design explored how perceptions of food safety/risk, animal welfare, deliciousness, purchase intention, energy density, carbon footprint of three foods (chicken, pasta, apples) are influenced by country of origin and ethical status information (UK, EU, China, USA, Fairtrade, Organic). Data were collected from 701 UK-based participants using an online survey from the 25-30th March, following the UK lockdown (23 March 2020).

Results: Perceptions of food safety, animal welfare, purchase intention, deliciousness and carbon footprint are influenced by origin and ethical status information. Chicken from the USA and China is perceived to be higher risk and have lower animal welfare standards. Apples from the USA and China are perceived to be higher risk. Pasta from China is perceived to be higher risk. Energy density estimations are not influenced by origin and ethical status information.

Conclusions: Consumer perceptions are influenced by country of origin and ethical information; foods from China are perceived least favourably, followed by foods from the USA; foods from the UK, EU, Organic or Fairtrade are perceived more favourably. The impact of origin and ethical information varies by food type with the perception of some foods appearing less susceptible to influence. These findings have implications for post COVID-19 (and post Brexit) food system, trade policy and public trust, and highlight the need for communication of food safety.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright: © 2020 Armstrong B and Reynolds C. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: UK, COVID-19, food safety, food risk, food system, consumer perceptions, carbon footprint, energy density
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: School of Health Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
School of Health Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management > Food Policy
[img]
Preview
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (285kB) | Preview

Export

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login