The increase in interest in the traditional and regional food has become a part of new trends in the behaviours of consumers in food market. However, the analysis of reference literature shows that, until now, not too many studies had the objective focused on the attitudes of Polish consumers to traditional and regional products. The objective of the research accomplished was to determine the factors determining behaviours of the consumers in the traditional food market. The scope of the research included the determination of the following: method used by the Polish consumers to define the term „traditional and regional food”; motives of purchasing traditional and regional food; accessibility of information on this food; consumers’ preferences in the range of assortment, prices, and places of purchasing food under this category. Moreover, a general characterization of the consumers declaring that they purchased traditional and regional food was provided. In the research, a method of direct interviews was applied with the use of questionnaires. The polled group consisted of 150 residents of Warsaw and of its environs; the interviews were performed in June and July 2006. As much as 78 % of respondents admitted they bought the traditional and regional food. The unquestionable majority of respondents attributed such qualities as „healthful”, „less processed”, and „tasty” to the traditional and regional food. Therefore, it can be concluded that the traditional and regional food is perceived in a positive way and its taste qualities are of special significance. This in turn is reflected in the hierarchy of factors impacting the decision whether or not to buy this type of food. The respondents admitted they liked trying products characteristic of a given region, since their taste and savour suited them. Nutritional values of this food and the belief of the consumers about its positive impact on their health are critical to them to a lesser extent critical when they choose those products. The polled, who do not buy the traditional food, explain that the main reasons thereof are: those products are hard to get (62 %) and their prices are too high (41 %). Among other factors impacting the purchase decision, the following were named: lack of knowledge of such products; lack of information on places where they are sold; inability to distinguish between the traditional and other food products. Both the limited accessibility and the low diversification of the assortment, as well as, in the opinion of the polled, the too high level of prices of the traditional food constitute a potential barrier to the development of demand for food under this category. Thus, for the purpose of further development of the traditional and regional food market, it is necessary to work out a developmental strategy of this market segment.
traditional food, consumer, market