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Cue utilization to assess food product quality: A comparison of consumers and retailers in India

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Using structural equation modeling, a cue utilization model was developed to compare Indian consumers' use of product cues and retailers' perception on their consumers' cue utilization in evaluating the quality of processed foods. Comparing 307 Indian consumers and 89 food retailers located in rural and urban India, the results reveal that intrinsic cues (taste and freshness) are more important than extrinsic cues (price, packaging, and brand name) in determining Indian consumers' overall quality perceptions of processed food products. The extrinsic cues, on the other hand, were used to evaluate Indian consumers' perceptions of the intrinsic cues. Results from a two-group comparison indicate that Indian food retailers overestimate the importance of price when consumers evaluate overall food quality, and overstate the importance of brand when consumers assess nutrition and freshness in foods, but underestimate the importance of brand when consumers assess taste. Marketing implications are provided.
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Keywords: India; consumers; cues; food quality; perceptions; retailers

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Ohio University, USA 2: Michigan State University, USA

Publication date: 2006-05-01

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