Perceived authenticity in food marketing is a potential factor of purchase decision. The present study examines which characteristics are most likely to induce consumers to consider a food product as authentic and desirable. Two different types of the dairy product ‘kefir’ were used in this study. Data were collected via a structured online survey of 263 respondents from Germany, which represent the characteristics of the German society in terms of gender, age and household income per month. Exploratory factor analysis grouped the surveyed items of perceived product authenticity in four dimensions which are: "Reference to personality", "Image of the product", "Retail environment" and "Product description". By these factors respondents measured characteristics which would ensure that the food product, the producer and the selling shop are genuine, original and credible. It can be concluded from the results that there is one universal construction of perceived authenticity fitting to both product types, namely the above mentioned four authenticity dimensions. Further, statistical tests revealed that the derived factors of perceived product authenticity have a significant influence on the buying decision. However, product authenticity is not the main driver of desire. Results of the study recall the importance of further analyzing the construct of authenticity in the food sector and suggest practical implications for promoting food products, such as the congruence of the shop’s environment and of the design elements on the food package.
Keywords: Perceived product authenticity, food marketing, dairy product, stated preference, packaging
Jel Code: D10, D12