Overview of consumer research in Western Balkan countries

Abele Kuipers, Magali Estève, Lidija Tomic, Ante Vuletic, Igor Spiroski, Zorica Djordjevic, Iris Zezelj, Marija Klopčič

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


    A set of 205 publications from Western Balkan countries was gathered and systematically ordered as an action of the EU project ‘Focus Balkans – Food Consumer Sciences in the Balkans’. Six country reports provided the base data. Methodologically, publications were split up by the use of primary or secondary data or both, as well as being a qualitative or quantitative study. Qua research concept focus on the individual (human being), on the environment or on the product itself was analysed. As research tools interviews, focus groups and experiments as well as surveys, questionnaires and on-line panel data were considered. There is in general a lack of primary data, and a disproportion between qualitative and quantitative studies in favour of quantitative in the WBC. The majority of publications gathered were ‘environment’ oriented. There is somewhat less focus on fruit than on other product groups, being organic, traditional and health claimed. Use of interviews and written questionnaires is by far the most popular. On-line panels are not yet utilized. A study of keywords listed gave quite a useful and objective impression concerning the emphasis on different topics in the various WBC publications under consideration. The keywords indicate a focus on ‘market’ and ‘marketing’ research in most countries. Consumer ‘behaviour’ and ‘attitude’ are less listed as a main keyword, while, remarkably, ‘obesity’ as concept is hardly mentioned. It was noted that the ‘house’ of scientific expertise in this field has, perhaps, a poor foundation, while ‘the pillars behind consumer science’ are not interrelated and fastened together. Indeed, a multidisciplinary approach is rare. There is also a lack of interaction with the international community. By far the most publications are published in the local languages and nearly all are written by local authors. Some of the countries conclude that there is a huge knowledge gap on food consumers’ science and that should be used as a stimulus for developing further research and knowledge transfer in this field.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationConsumer attitudes to food quality products
    EditorsMarija Klopčič, Abele Kuipers, Jean-François Hocquette
    PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
    ISBN (Electronic)9789086867622
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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