Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2013

Consumer Attitudes towards Origin and Organic - The Role of Credence Labels on Consumers' Liking of Tomatoes

Fernqvist, Fredrik; Ekelund Axelson, Lena


The tomato is one of the most popular vegetables in Europe, but since the introduction of modern production systems much attention has been paid to the issue 'lack of taste'. Consumers' experienced taste and quality, however, are not only dependent on attributes of the tomato such as taste and texture, but also on product appearance and labels signalling credence (e.g. origin and production method) and personal factors such as attitudes affecting consumers' quality experience. In this paper we hypothesise that credence labels (i.e. 'Swedish', 'Dutch' and 'Organic') have an effect on consumers' experienced liking of taste and total impression of tomatoes, and that attitudes towards those labels are correlated with experienced quality. Through a taste assessment with a Swedish consumer panel, we found a significant difference in liking of taste between tomatoes labelled 'Dutch' (Mean (M) = 4.54, Standard deviation (SD) = 1.68) and tomatoes labelled 'Swedish' (M = 5.88, SD = 1.70) and 'Organic' (M = 6.05, SD = 1.70), respectively. As for overall impression, tomatoes labelled 'Dutch' (M = 4.24, SD = 1.74) received lower grades than 'Swedish' (M = 5.59, SD = 1.76) and 'Organic' (M = 6.00, SD = 1.63). We found that attitudes towards origin are significantly correlated with liking of taste of tomatoes labelled 'Swedish' in a positive direction and 'Dutch' in a negative direction. We also found that positive attitudes towards organic products are positively correlated with liking of tomatoes labelled 'Organic'. The hypotheses are accepted and theoretical and practical implications are discussed.


Lycopersicon esculentum; consumer panel; attitudes; credence attributes; labelling; taste; horticultural marketing

Published in

European Journal of Horticultural Science
2013, volume: 78, number: 4, pages: 184-190

Authors' information

UKÄ Subject classification

Food Science

URI (permanent link to this page)