Quality assurance and the consumer
In recent years, quality assurance schemes have grown considerably in number and scope. Several useful benefits have been claimed for them including their value as marketing advantages. However, there appears to be a paucity of published research to support this claim. This paper, therefore, seeks to substantiate the claim that quality assurance schemes represent useful marketing advantages as well as determining the magnitude of the advantage. The study is based on conjoint analysis as it is argued that this is a more realistic and therefore, appropriate research technique than the direct elicitation approach embodied in simply asking consumers for their opinions concerning quality assurance schemes. The paper concludes that quality assurance is an influence on the consumer decision process for mince beef and in addition provides an indication as to its relative importance. It also speculates on the implications for quality assurance schemes in general.