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Consumer Perception of Food Quality and Safety in Western Balkan Countries: Evidence from Albania and Kosovo

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  • Rainer Haas, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences
  • ,
  • Drini Imami, Agricultural University of Tirana, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Albania
  • Iliriana Miftari, University of Prishtina
  • ,
  • Prespa Ymeri, University of Prishtina
  • ,
  • Klaus G Grunert
  • Oliver Meixner, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences
Domestic food markets are of significant importance to Kosovar and Albanian companies because access to export markets is under-developed, partly as a result of the gaps in food safety and quality standards. Kosovar and Albanian consumers’ use of food safety attributes and their evaluation of the quality of domestic food versus imported food are the research objectives of this study. The paper is based on a structured consumer survey of 300 Kosovars and 349 Albanians analyzing their perceptions of issues related to food safety and quality, measured through two respective batteries of items using a 5-point Likert scale. We used the t-test to identify differences between populations, correlation analysis and the bootstrapping method. Despite the prevalent problems with food safety, consumers in both countries consider domestic food to be safer as well as of higher quality than imported products. Kosovars are more likely than Albanians to perceive domestic food products to be significantly better than imported products. Female and better educated consumers use information related to food safety more often. Expiry date, domestic and local origin, and brand reputation are the most frequently used safety and quality cues for both samples. International food standards such as ISO or HACCP are less frequently used as quality cues by these consumer groups. It is important to strengthen the institutional framework related to food safety and quality following best practices from EU countries
Original languageEnglish
Article number160
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

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