The Region-of-Origin Effect: Implications for Regional Development Policies

The Region-of-Origin Effect: Implications for Regional Development Policies

José Manuel García-Gallego (University of Extremadura, Spain) and Antonio Chamorro‑Mera (University of Extremadura, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9567-2.ch020
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The main objective of this chapter was to determine the variables that explain and moderate the intention to purchase regional a specific product, in particular, wine. Some of the selected variables were directly related to regional development. To achieve that goal, and based on the literature review, authors designed a structural model to study the ROO effect in the Spanish wine market. The model proposes direct and indirect effects of the following antecedent variables on the purchase intention: the region's image, the region's image as a producer in this product category, the perceived quality of the region's products, and consumer ethnocentrism. The results of this study contribute to guiding decision-making on the strategies to be implemented by regional public institutions in collaboration with the wine industry, both of them responsible of creating value for the region.
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In the purchase of certain categories of food products, especially those in which it is difficult to evaluate their intrinsic attributes (nutritional and organoleptic qualities such as taste, colour or texture), the extrinsic attributes take on great importance in the process of consumer choice (such as brand or functionality and design of packaging) .One such extrinsic attribute that can become a key to this differentiation is the provenance or geographical origin of the product. Such is the importance that this aspect may have in the purchase decision that it has come to be known as the fifth element of the marketing mix (Baker & Currie, 1993).

The terms “made in” effect, “country-of-origin” (COO) effect, “region-of-origin” (ROO) effect, or, in general, “place-of-origin” effect reflect the implications that the geographical provenance of the product has for consumers’ purchasing decision processes (Bilkey & Ness, 1982; Johansson, 1989), i.e., in such aspects as the perceived quality, preference, or intention to purchase a particular product. Papadopoulos and Heslop (2003) define the “place-of-origin” effect as “a set of strengths and weaknesses linked to the place of origin that add or detract value from the product for consumers”. This added value can come from environmental and human factors already existing in the place. It may manifest itself in different ways: through the consumer’s perceived quality of the product (Han & Terpstra, 1988; Ahmed & d’Astous, 1992, 1996, 2001, 2007; Verlegh et al., 2005; Veale & Quester, 2009), through their attitudes and preferences (Bigné & Cuenca, 2000; Van Ittersum et al., 2003; Orth et al., 2005; Font i Furnols et al., 2011; Gracia et al., 2011), or through their purchase intention (González & Villanueva, 2001; Cerviño et al., 2005; Montesinos & Currat, 2007; Auger et al., 2010; Godey et al., 2012).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Region’s Image as a Producer of a Specific Product Category: Mental representation that consumers have about aspects related to the production of a specific product category in a particular location, such as know-how , qualification of their habitants or raw materials, among others.

Consumer Ethnocentrism: The belief that a product deriving from your own ethnic or cultural group is inherently superior to similar products from other cultural or ethnic groups.

Familiarity with an Origin: Consumer’s level of knowledge about a place and its products.

Ethnocentrism: Sociological concept, which refers to the belief that your own ethnic or cultural group is the centre of everything and all that comes from others is measured and estimated with reference to it. The own group is superior and exalts its own divinities, looking at strangers with contempt.

Region’s Image: Mental representation that people have about any aspect related to a particular location, such as climate, its people or culture, among others.

Protected Designations of Origin: European geographical indications and traditional specialties that promote and protect names of quality for agricultural products and foodstuffs.

Place-of-Origin Effect: A set of strengths and weaknesses linked to the place of origin that add or detract value from the product for consumers.

Familiarity with a Product Category: Consumer’s level of knowledge about a specific product category.

Animosity: Feelings of animosity towards a country related to previous or on-going military, political, or economic events, which are reflected in the purchasing behaviour of consumers in international markets.

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