FOOD. Science. Technology. Quality

Food. SCIENCE. Technology. Quality

Food. Science. TECHNOLOGY. Quality

Food. Science. Technology. QUALITY




Polish consumer perception of traditional food based on the qualitative survey


The definitions existing to date or attempts to characterize traditional food are most often connected with a time criterion. The European Commission suggests using the term “traditional” in relation to those food products, which have been present in the EC markets for a particular period during which they were handed down from generation to generation. At the same time, it is suggested that such a time period should correspond with a period ascribed to one generation and last at least 25 years. Furthermore, traditional food is characterised as the food conformable with the practices established or having specifications formulated before World War II. This type of food shows a specific feature or features distinguishing it from other similar products of the same category in terms of “traditional ingredients” it was produced of, “traditional composition”, and “the traditional production and/or processing method”. However, the concepts developed to date do not respect the opinions of consumers on this type of food products. Therefore, within the scope of the concept under discussion, it seemed important to identify the method of how the Polish consumers defined the term “traditional food”. For this purpose, in 2006, a survey project of a qualitative character was performed and consisted of both the focus group interviews and the word association tests. The scope of the survey comprised assessing the consumer opinions on features determining traditional food and on circumstances connected with consuming this type of food. To sum up the results of this qualitative survey, the following should be noted: when referring to the identification of the term ‘traditional food’ and to the analysis of the opinions on this group of products, the respondents took into consideration food describing features, as well as specific patterns of nutritional behaviour. First of all, traditional food was perceived as a food available for generations; commonly consumed, mainly in a family circle, thus, close to the culture and geographical area where it derived from. Sensory and healthful properties of this type of food were also a crucial aspect for the polled. Consequently, the properties of traditional food as perceived by the participants of the qualitative survey, reproduced the criteria distinguishing traditional food from the point of view of legislation of the European Union and other concepts developed until today.


traditional food, features of traditional food, defining, consumers