Country of origin and the effect on consumers' purchase intention of Norwegian salted cod : a study of the Spanish market
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The Norwegian market share in the Spanish market for salted cod has decreased significantly over the past years. Norwegian producers have not been able to deliver products that are in line with the consumer preferences in this market, and the quality of the delivered products are believed to be inferior to that of the competitors. The Spansih seafood market is one of the most attractive domestic markets in Europe, and has the second highest expenditure per capita indicating that there are great potential. Studies have shown that consumers do not know the correct country of origin (COO) (Diamantopoulos et al. 2011). Consumer perception, product features, COO, and COO perception have an influence on purchase intention (C.L Wang cited in Rezvani e al., 2012). COO can help consumers to form preferences and purchase decisions (Yasin et al., 2007), and buyers use COO as an indicator of quality (Lee and Lee, 2009). Previous research has mostly focused either on a qualitative or a quantitative approach, but very few have combined the two. Our study combines the two approaches to get a better understanding of the Spanish market for salted cod. This thesis is based on 34 in-depth interviews with consumers and the distribution chain in Spain, exporters in Norway, and a quantitative survey in Spain, where 81 complete responses were collected. The respondents were consumers based mainly in the regions Cantabria, Comunidad Valenciana and Cataluña. Our research question is: How does country of origin affect purchase intention of Norwegian salted cod in Spain? In addition, we developed two additional research questions during the field study to examine other areas of interest: How do product preferences differ between regions in Spain? and Can Spanish consumers differentiate between Norwegian and Icelandic salted cod? Findings indicate that country of origin in most cases does not affect purchase intention of Norwegian salted cod. In our research model, price, quality, distribution and product attributes such as color and thickness, brand awareness, and brand image (Norwegian salted cod being the brand) are the drivers suspected to affect purchase intention. The qualitative approach indicates that quality and product attributes are the most important drivers of purchase intention, and that COO has little importance. The quantitative approach on the other hand, indicates that country of origin awareness and brand awareness influence purchase intention.