Le lieu de production d'un produit agroalimentaire un critère de choix
This doctorate dissertation tests product origin identification strategies. Two (2) possible product labeling strategies were put to test. The province strategy identifies the products with the province, while the region strategy identifies them with the made-in region. The mixed strategy was also evaluated. It lies in identifying products with the made-in region if they are sold in that region, and identifying products with the name of the province if sold in regions other than the made-in region. The experiment protocol consisted in observing choices made by 500 persons put in a real-life situation, i.e., 125 per experimental condition. Then the customers observed completed a questionnaire testing the explanatory conceptual framework underlying their behavior. The 500 consumers observed purchased products in the following order: (a) products originating from their region, (b) from their province, (c) from their province but a region other than theirs, (d) from another province. Our analysis of results from the questionnaire on beliefs, sense of belonging/solidarity, and customer attitudes using a structural equation modeling confirmed the accuracy of the conceptual framework combining those variables. We also emphasized the actual strength hierarchy of the sense of belonging and solidarity among respondents: (1) sense of belonging with one's region > sense of belonging with one's province > sense of belonging with another region in one's province > sense of belonging with another province; and (2) sense of solidarity with one's region > sense of solidarity with one's province > sense of solidarity with another region in one's province > sense of solidarity with another province. For maximizing the impact of the made-in as a choice criterion, managers must: (a) highlight the made-in when choices are made, (b) use the made-in on products that originate from groups with which customers feel a sense of belonging or solidarity (one's region or one's province), and (c) apply the mixed strategy. The study led to the conclusion that the level of intensity of the sense of belonging and solidarity felt by customers, their beliefs and attitude towards the made-in may explain the above order of preference.