Research on the Irrational Behavior of Consumers' Safe Consumption and Its Influencing Factors.

Research paper by Jianhua J Wang, Minmin M Shen, Ziqiu Z Gao

Indexed on: 20 Dec '18Published on: 20 Dec '18Published in: International journal of environmental research and public health


Frequent food safety incidents in recent years have greatly reduced consumers' trust, and consumers' demand for safe food has been on the rise. However, there is an inconsistency between the consumers' willingness and actual purchasing behaviors. Some consumers who have a willingness to purchase safe food ultimately do not produce actual purchasing behaviors, resulting in an "irrational behavior" in the safe food consumer market. In order to better study this phenomenon and identify its inherent logic, we chose to use pork (a typical representative of safety-certified agricultural products) as the object, based on a survey on 844 consumers in the Jiangsu Province and Anhui Province analyzed in July 2017 by RPL (Random Parameters Logit) and binary Logit regression methods from two aspects, i.e. consumer preference for different attributes of safety-certified products and factors affecting safe consumption. The research results show that consumers have a significant preference for pork that has additional attributes such as green food certification, organic food certification, origin information and "No Additives and Veterinary Drug Residue Labeling"; labeling such information on the pork can effectively improve consumers' trust. Consumers' inconsistency of purchase intention with purchasing behaviors of safety-certified pork is affected by many factors, such as gender, age, annual household income, the degree of trust in agricultural product quality and a safety certification mark, understanding of safety-certified pork, and the degree of concern on pork quality and safety issues. These factors have all contributed, to varying degrees, to the rising of "irrational behavior" of consumers' safe consumption, lead to an irrational state of consumption that consumers with a safely certified pork purchase will not necessarily buy a safety-certified pork. Based on the results of two empirical analyses, it can be concluded that pricing and age are the two main influencing factors that lead to the "irrational behavior" of consumers' safe consumption.