Internet-enabled access to alternative food networks: A comparison of online and offline food shoppers and their differing interpretations of quality
- 664 Downloads
Online food retail has the potential to broaden access to systems of food provision which promote social and environmental quality attributes. This possibility is explored using data from a survey of 365 consumers who purchased food either via internet retailers of local and organic food, or via farmers’ markets, in Vancouver, Canada and Melbourne, Australia. Survey results are analyzed using principal component and regression techniques and interpreted via the theoretical framework of conventions theory. Key findings show that while online retailers of local organic food are not currently attracting more resource constrained consumers, they do appeal to a similar, although broader, array of quality conventions. This research provides new insights into the challenges and opportunities associated with increasing consumer access to alternative food networks, as well as adding to the small number of quantitative studies in the conventions theory literature.
KeywordsAlternative food networks Internet retail Conventions theory Access equity
- Adams, J. 2011. National food plan submission: creating appetites for farmers’ markets in Australia. Australian Farmers’ market Association. http://www.daff.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/2006869/Australian_Farmers_Markets_Association.pdf. Accessed 15 Nov 2015.
- Anderson, C. 2006. The long tail: Why the future of business is selling less to more. New York NY: Hyperion.Google Scholar
- Anglim, J. 2007. Cluster analysis and factor analysis. University of Melbourne. http://web.psych.unimelb.edu.au/jkanglim/03clusterandfactoranalysis.pdf. Accessed 02 March 2012.
- Boltanski, L., and L. Thévenot, 2006–1991. On justification: Economies of worth. Princeton MA. Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Brunori, G. 2007. Local food and alternative food networks: A communication perspective. Anthropology of Food 2: 1–20.Google Scholar
- Butler, B., P. Jacqueline, and R. Catherine. 2009. Growing local food systems: Information technology use and impacts in geographically-embedded markets. Proceedings of the 30th international conference on information systems. Paper 92.Google Scholar
- Doherty, K. 2006. Mediating critiques of the alternative food movement: Growing power in Milwaukee. Masters thesis. Department of Geography: University of Wisconsin.Google Scholar
- Dupuy, J.P., Eymard-Duvernay, F., Favereau, O., Salais, R., and Thévenot, L. 1989. [Special Edition] Économie des conventions’. Revue économique 40 (2): 141–400.Google Scholar
- Economist Intelligence Unit 2011, Global livability rankings. The economist magazine. http://www.eiu.com/site_info.asp?info_names=the_global_liveability_report. Accessed 03 Jan 2015.
- Fonte, M. 2006. Slow food presidia: What do small producers do with big retailers? In Between the local and the global: Confronting complexity in the contemporary agri-food sector, eds T. Marsden and J. Murdoch, 203–237. Oxford UK: Elsevier.Google Scholar
- Foodbank Australia. 2013. End hunger report 2013. Foodbank Australia. http://www.foodbank.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Foodbank-End-Hunger-Report-2013.pdf. Accessed 20 Feb 2016.
- Goodman, D. 2009. Place and space in alternative food networks: Connecting production and consumption. Department of Geography, London UK: Kings College. http://www.kcl.ac.uk/schools/sspp/geography/research/epd/working.html. Accessed 15 Feb 2014.
- Goodman, M.K., D. Goodman, and M. Redclift. 2010a. Introduction: Situating consumption, space and place. In Consuming space: Placing consumption in perspective eds. M.K. Goodman, D. Goodman, and M. Redclift: 3–40. Farnham, Burlington: Ashgate.Google Scholar
- Granatstein, D. 2013. Expanding organic on the landscape: Does farm size matter? Centre for Sustaining Agriculture and Nutritional Resources. http://csanr.wsu.edu/expanding-organic/. Accessed 08 August 2016.
- Najafi, M., and Bin Mohd Shariff, M. K. 2011. The concept of place and sense of place in architectural studies. International Journal of Human and Social Sciences 6 (3): 187–193.Google Scholar
- Noe, E., and Alroe, H. 2010. Quality, coherence and co-operation: A framework for studying the mediation of qualities in food networks and collective marketing strategies. International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture, & Food 18 (1): 12–27.Google Scholar
- Porter, M. 2001. Strategy and the internet. Harvard Business Review 79 (3): 63–78.Google Scholar
- Sanderson, K., M. Gertler, D. Martz, and R. Mahibir. 2005. Farmers’ markets in America: A background document. Community-University Institute for Social Research, Saskatoon, CA, http://www.usask.ca/cuisr/docs/pub_doc/economic/FarmersMarket.pdf. Accessed 03 Feb 2014.
- Sedghi, A. 2014. Facebook: 10 years of social networking in numbers. The Guardian, 04 Feb 2014, 4.Google Scholar
- Stark, D. 2000. For a sociology of worth, Columbia University, http://www.coi.columbia.edu/pdf/stark_fsw.pdf. Accessed 4 Oct 2014.
- Storper, M., and Salais, R. 1997. Worlds of production: The action framework for the economy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. 2014. National count of farmers’ market directory listing graph: 1994–2014, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. http://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/FarmersMarketDirectoryListing.jpg. Accessed 18 Nov 2015.
- United States Bureau of Labor Statistics 1999. Food, clothing and shelter see different historical spending patterns, US Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/1999/Sept/wk1/art02.htm. Accessed 19 Feb 2014.
- Wolf, M., Spittler, A., and Ahern, J. 2005. A profile of farmers’ market consumers and perceived advantages of food sold at farmers’ markets. Journal of Food Distribution Research 36 (1): 192–201.Google Scholar