PhD Event


Carolina Ferrales - 2nd year PhD presentation

Multiple Consumer Ethnocentrism and Food Products

Info about event


Monday 22 August 2022,  at 09:00 - 09:45




Department of Management

Supervisors: Klaus Grunert & Lars Esbjerg
Discussants: John Thøgersen & Marija Banovic

Consumer ethnocentrism and the role of food origin in food choice have been extensively studied in the consumer research literature, showing that individuals usually prefer domestic products over foreign ones. The simple distinction between foreign and domestic in most previous studies has limited the investigation of origin and ethnocentrism, as the role of subnational ingroups and the products originating from them have not been studied (Fernandez -Ferrin et al, 2018; Charton-Vacet et al, 2019; Jimenez et al, 2021; Balabanis and Siambgka, 2021). Therefore, we focus on multiple groups of belonging for consumers and the implications for their food choice. Thus, our contribution is a multilevel concept of consumer ethnocentrism and its relationship to the use of origin information and preferences for local foods and systems.

The first paper focuses on scale development. We define a construct of Multilevel Consumer Ethnocentrism and develop an instrument to measure it. In a first step, through qualitative exploration (focus groups in Denmark and Mexico), we find that consumers identify with different social groups with which they simultaneous associate as members (social identity).  We also find that consumers view these groups as origin of food products, associating them with elements such as identity, social responsibility, and quality.

In the second step, we developed an extensive pool of items to measure multilevel consumer ethnocentrism and tested them in a survey carried out in Denmark and Mexico (n=200 each). Based on exploratory factor analysis (PCA, Varimax) we distinguished three dimensions/levels of consumer ethnocentrism, measured by 18 items. The measures of the three dimensions had good reliability (Cronbach’s alpha=0.93).

The third and final step involves a second data collection with two samples (n = 400 total), using the 18 items from the initial pool, adding measures of the original CETSCALE and and a number of other constructs to test nomologicalvalidity of the multilevel consumer ethnocentrism construct..

A second paper will contain a systematic literature review of studies dealing with consumer ethnocentrism in relation to foods. 77 articles were identified based on a systematic selection process, consisting of consumer-focused studies from 39 countries. We contemplate vague patterns in the results of previous literature, finding both high and low levels of consumer ethnocentrism, certain with food consumption implications and others with no association towards foods, also distinctive findings between developed and developing countries. We describe inconsistencies in the definition of the construct, and different adaptations of the CETSCALE and we also discuss alternative and related instruments (Zhang et al, 2020; Waehning and Filleri, 2021). Existing studies have used consumer ethnocentrism as a segmentation tool, a predictor, and a moderator, and have considered it mainly an attitude or a personal trait. Findings could lead to more questions on the methodological alternatives, but also to the focus on subnational groups along with the national ones, contemplating simultaneous groups for ethnocentrism and for the origin of foods; leading to the possible development of constructs related to Multiple levels for consumer ethnocentrism or a Food Ethnocentrism concept (considering purposes of ethnocentrism on food consumption, like local values, social commitment, origin labeling, and sustainability).

Everyone is welcome!