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Effect of Religious and Cultural Information of Olive Oil on Consumer Behavior: Evidence from Japan

Tamaki Kitagawa (), Kenichi Kashiwagi () and Hiroko Isoda ()
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Tamaki Kitagawa: Alliance for Research on the Mediterranean and North Africa, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennodai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8577, Japan
Hiroko Isoda: Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, Alliance for Research on the Mediterranean and North Africa, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennodai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8577, Japan

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 3, 1-17

Abstract: The olive tree and oil are iconic in the Mediterranean culture and religions, and producers incorporate those associations into the packaging of olive oil products they distribute regionally. This study examines the impact of religious and cultural information about olive oil on consumer behavior. A choice experiment was conducted to survey Japanese consumers’ willingness to pay for olive oil products. Results show that consumers respond with varying degrees of favor to the characteristic of “produced in pilgrimage destination,” but if cultural and religious information related to olive is provided, their willingness to pay increases 6.7 times. Measurements of cross-effects show that consumers that are more educated respond favorably to cultural and religious imagery, whereas older consumers and those with more children respond less favorably. Empirical results imply those regional religious and cultural allusions could be used to differentiate and promote olive oil products in a culturally distinct market.

Keywords: olive oil; religious and cultural attributes; country of origin; choice experiment; willingness to pay (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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