Should I go back to the roots to obtain my food? Understanding key factors driving U.S. consumers’ preferences for food foraging over buying and growing food

Rombach, Meike
Botero, J
Dean, David
Journal Article
Fields of Research
ANZSRC::350601 Consumer behaviour , ANZSRC::300606 Food sustainability , ANZSRC::470205 Cultural studies of agriculture, food and wine
Alternative forms of food procurement have increased in consumer popularity since the occurrence of food price inflation and the ongoing recession in the U.S. The present study explores predictors such as food engagement, food-related COVID-19 concerns, and the importance of sustainable foraging practices as determinants for U.S. consumers’ preferences for food foraging. Two scenarios are investigated, the preference for food foraging over growing food and food foraging over regular food buying. The study is based on an online consumer survey (n = 401) and used partial least square structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) for the data analysis. Results indicate that food engagement is the strongest predictor for both foraging over buying and foraging over growing scenarios. However, food-related COVID-19 concern appears to only be relevant for the foraging over buying scenario and the importance of sustainable growing practices is only relevant for the foraging over growing scenario. These findings are important because they indicate the attitudinal triggers of food foraging and are therefore of relevance to foraging communities and managers in municipalities, food retail, and horticultural businesses who are associated with traditional and alternative forms of food procurement.
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