Consumers’ purchase intentions towards traced foods: a comparative analysis between the United Kingdom and China

Shan Jin, Yiying Cao, Glyn D. Jones, Wenjing Li, Lynn J. Frewer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Food traceability can potentially facilitate the identification of safe foods, and enable the authentication of different production characteristics, such as sustainability or quality attributes associated with production practices. The successful implementation of traceability systems will depend on the extent to which consumers are willing to purchase traced foods. This may vary between food categories, and the product characteristics which are being traced. This research investigated Chinese and UK consumers’ responses (UK n = 1656 and Chinese n = 1515) to different traced foods (apples, milk and beef), using online survey methodology. The results showed that Chinese consumers expressed greater intentions to buy traced foods than UK consumers overall. Traced beef and milk incurred higher purchase intentions than traced apples in both countries.
A hybrid model has been developed and tested using partial least squares structural equation modelling. The results indicated attitudes and perceived affordability are the main determinants of purchase intentions for UK consumers, while perceived affordability and perceived ease of use are the main determinants for Chinese consumers. Consumer purchase intentions exhibited a greater dependence on existing attitudes towards traced food in general for Chinese consumers, indicating potentially stronger cognitive biases. A perceived price premium had negative impacts on UK consumers', but positive impacts on Chinese consumers’ purchase intentions towards traced foods. This could relate to UK consumers being more price-conscious, while Chinese consumers regarded price premium as signifying greater safety and quality during food decision making. Implications for the future implementation of food traceability systems in China and the UK are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109828
Number of pages15
JournalFood Control
Early online date6 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2023


  • Food traceability
  • Consumer purchase intention
  • Consumer attitudes
  • Push-pull-mooring theory
  • Structural equation modelling
  • UKRI
  • BB/S020985/1

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