FOOD. Science. Technology. Quality

Food. SCIENCE. Technology. Quality

Food. Science. TECHNOLOGY. Quality

Food. Science. Technology. QUALITY




Consumers’ preferences referring to applicable innovations in traditional products


The progressive diversification in consumers’ expectations for food, implied by both the contact with different cultures and the endeavour to maintain own cultural values and national identity, encourages interest in the traditional and regional food. The exceptional values of traditional and regional food are a combination of specific features of raw materials, way of processing, and place of origin, and this in turn determines the authenticity of this category of food. Further development of traditional food market requires to adjust this offer to the expectations of present day consumers, who declare their willingness to buy it, but do not want to forgo the convenience resulting from modern processing methods, packaging, and, also, food distribution. Therefore, in order to meet the consumers’ expectations, it is necessary to create the innovation on the level of product, method of manufacturing it, and, also, of distributing it. Yet, it is worth remembering that interfering in the traditional way of acquiring raw materials or processing them can negatively impact the traditional character of product and the perception of traditional food. The objective of the research was to determine the consumers’ preferences in the range of acceptable level of innovation in reference to traditional food. In the research, an exploratory approach was applied, i.e. focus group interviews. Pursuant to the methodological assumptions accepted, two sessions of focus group interviews were conducted in June 2006: one session was held in an urban venue and the other in a rural venue. The focus group interviews were used to determine the level of consumer-accepted innovations in traditional food. The participants of focus group interviews were very sceptical about the possibility of innovating traditional food. In the opinion of consumers, the term innovation and tradition exclude each other. The results of exploratory research accomplished allow for the conclusion that regarding the traditional food, those innovations are accepted, which consist in using new technologies improving functional properties, including health quality and comfort of use. And definitely rejected are those aspects of innovativeness, which are connected with a far reaching interference in the authenticity of traditional food, in particular changes in the formulas of its manufacturing.


traditional food, innovation