Title: A (local) apple a day: pandemic-induced changes in local food buying, a generational cohort perspective

Authors: Ofrit Kol; Dorit Zimand-Sheiner; Shalom Levy

Addresses: School of Communication, Ariel University, Ariel 40700, Israel ' School of Communication, Ariel University, Ariel 40700, Israel ' Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ariel University, Ariel 40700, Israel

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruptive change in agri-food distribution around the world and accelerated local food buying which creates new challenges for managers in the food industry. The purposes of this study are to construct and empirically test a conceptual model that integrates expectancy value theory with social and environmental values (pro-environmental behaviour, altruism and ethnocentricity) in order to explain this change in buying behaviour. In addition, the predictive model is examined among various generational cohorts. For the purposes of this research, an online panel study was conducted, employing a stratified sampling method (n = 672). The results reveal that social and environmental values have a significant effect on consumer positive attitude toward buying, intention to buy, and actual change in local food buying. Nevertheless, the effects differ among generational cohorts emphasising the different roles of social and environmental values among generations on sustainable consumption. Recommendations for practitioners and policy makers are suggested.

Keywords: local food; COVID-19; pandemic; sustainable consumption; generational cohorts; Gen Y; Gen X; baby-boomers; altruism; ethnocentrism; pro-environmental behaviour; agri-food; EVT; expectancy value theory; buying behaviour.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIM.2023.127297

European Journal of International Management, 2023 Vol.19 No.1, pp.1 - 26

Received: 31 Dec 2020
Accepted: 01 Apr 2021

Published online: 30 Nov 2022 *

Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article