The indication of country of origin on food products is of growing importance and offers potentials for product differentiation to, among others, cacao producers from countries in the developing and transition stages. In this study the importance of country-of-origin (CoO) effects on the quality perception of chocolate among German consumers is examined using the example of Ecuadorian cacao. The quality perception of chocolate is the result of a complex perceptual process influenced by extrinsic and intrinsic product attributes, country images, socio-demographic and psychographic characteristics of the consumer and situational factors such as place of purchase. Based on this conceptual framework, an online survey has been conducted with 205 German chocolate consumers. ols regression analysis revealed a strong CoO-effect on the purchase of Ecuadorian chocolate. These findings have implications for management.
Keywords: Country-of-Origin-Effect, Cacao, Chocolate, Ecuador, Quality Perception, Geographical Indication
Jel Code: D11, D12, D18, M31