The study, carried out by researchers at the Vineland Research and Innovation Center in Ontario, Canada, surveyed 278 people online about the likelihood that they would purchase products according to product description, accompanying quality statements, price, and the presence of various logos – as well as their willingness to pay a premium for the products.
The researchers said that a range of new marketing and certification labels have been introduced over the past few years, and they sought to understand the impact of the oldest Ontario logo – Foodland Ontario, introduced in 1997 – compared with newer logos, such as Canada Organic, Verified Organic, and Local Food Plus.
They found that “Foodland Ontario has a significant impact on female intention to purchase” but did not see any significant difference for males. The Foodland Ontario logo was the only logo that increased the likelihood of purchase – but women were also willing to pay a premium “for almost all logos with the Verified Organic label”.
Men were not willing to pay more for any logo, they found.
“Success of a program is not defined by only increased premiums, but increased likelihood of purchase has the potential to be just, if not more, powerful,” the researchers wrote.
They also noted that Ontario consumers were willing to pay a smaller premium for products carrying local and organic logos compared with recent studies using US consumers.
The researchers wrote: “Through a better understanding of consumers’ use of these logos, both industry and policymakers can make more informed decisions in the future regarding increasing local and/or organic consumption.”
According to a 2007 study from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), 94% of Ontario consumers recognized the Foodland Ontario logo.
Vol. 45(10) October 2010
“Purchase Drivers of Canadian Consumers of Local and Organic Produce”
Authors: Benjamin Campbell, Isabelle Lesschaeve, Amy Bowen.