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Antecedent Factors Impacting Country of Origin (COO): An Investigation into Food Provenance in China

Keith Walley, Li Cheng, Tiantian Liu

Abstract

This paper reports a study that sought to investigate the antecedent factors influencing consumer COO perceptions. A review of the literature revealed that most previous studies consider these factors independently, however, it is now widely accepted that consumer decision making does not involve the consideration of variables one-at-a-time but rather as a small group of factors often referred to as the evoked set. This study, therefore, set out to fill a gap in the knowledge regarding the factors influencing consumer COO when considered collectively. A model of the antecedent factors impacting COO was developed from the literature and a three stage methodology involving both qualitative and quantitative techniques was then used to test the model. The findings not only confirm COO as an important factor in the decision making process of Chinese consumers when purchasing food products but go on to suggest that the role played by the antecedent factors of COO is much more complex than the existing literature might suggest. The main limitations of the study related to the work being conducted in just one country (China) and the inherent issues associated with research that is based on sampling. Despite the limitations, the paper makes an original contribution to knowledge regarding antecedent factors impacting COO and presents a number of implications for both practicing marketing managers and academic theorists.

Keywords

Country of origin; COO; International marketing; Food provenance; China.

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