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Consumer Selection of Food-Safety Information Sources

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The aim of this study is to examine the preferences of consumers for different information sources when they have a question about food safety. On the basis of a nationally representative survey conducted in the Netherlands, five distinct consumer groups are identified that not only differ on the reported use of information sources but also regarding several personality characteristics and sociodemographic variables. The empirical results show that two-thirds of the consumers are selective in their use of information sources and prefer either institutional or social sources. So, multiple information-acquisition patterns exist among the general public. The study illustrates how these findings can help to develop effective risk communication strategies.
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Keywords: Food safety; individual differences; information seeking; need for information; risk communication

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 April 2007

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