Consuming nostalgia? The appreciation of authenticity in local food production

M. Autio, R. Collins, S. Wahlen, M. Anttila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

93 Citations (Scopus)


Many consumers consider local food a more sustainable choice than conventional food because of the shorter transport distances involved as well as the support provided to local economies. In addition, consumers value the perceived safety benefits, ethical associations and improved taste of local food. In this study, we focus on the cultural meanings of locally produced food among Finnish consumers. Based on interviews with 22 consumers, our analysis suggests that, besides consumers valuing sustainable, healthy and tasty locally produced food, they perceived self-produced, self-processed items, including those they have gathered, hunted and fished themselves, as the most authentic local food. Furthermore, local food is associated with craftsmanship and artisan production. We also found that interviewees tended to historicize their relationship to food through local production. Thus, consumers seem to be in search of ‘real’ or ‘true’ food that is embedded in their personal and shared social histories.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)564-568
JournalInternational Journal of Consumer Studies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • localization
  • consumption


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