Understanding Local Food ConsumersTheory of Planned Behavior and Segmentation Approach

Archana Kumar, Montclair State University
Sylvia Smith, Southern Illinois University


Purpose: The objectives of this study were to examine the antecedents and consequence of consumer attitudes toward local food and to segment these consumers using their food-related lifestyle (FRL) attributes. Using the Theory of Planned Behavior, we proposed three factors to impact attitude toward local food (health consciousness, concern for the environment, and concern for local economies) along with subjective norm and perceived behavioral control to influence intentions to purchase local food. Methodology: Data were collected from 502 local food consumers measuring the following: antecedents and consequence of attitude toward local food; FRL; demographic information. Findings: Health consciousness, concern for the environment, and concern for local economies were found to be significant predictors of attitude toward local food. Attitude toward local food and subjective norm, but not perceived behavioral control, were found to have a significant effect on intention to purchase local food. Further, segmenting based on their FRL yielded four types of consumers (Impromptu Novelty Explorer, Uninvolved Connoisseur, Involved Information Seeker, and Apathetic Local Food Consumer). An ANOVA provided a snapshot of several demographic and psychographic differences between segments.