Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338
January 11, 1999
Most shoppers unaware of product origin
Most shoppers do not know where the products they purchase are made, according to preliminary results of a new University of Guelph study.
The purchases investigated included textiles (clothing and household), shoes and leather goods, kitchen appliances and housewares, entertainment, communication, computers and computer components, outdoor camping and sporting goods, automotive, and hardware and garden.
According to Liefeld, previous research about consumer choice relied on transparent survey questioning or experimental conditions. These methods are subject to a variety of systematic biasing effects. More importantly, questioning people about their behaviors, values, beliefs, attitudes, is known to often generate their responses, he said.
The research approach developed by Liefeld is currently being extended to Vancouver and Texas. In the new year, interviewing also will be undertaken in Montreal, Wisconsin, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. If the findings are similar to those in Guelph/Cambridge, Liefeld hopes that the weight of the evidence will encourage other consumer behavior researchers to develop and employ new research methods.
Liefeld also is developing methods to investigate what people know just after purchase in the categories of wine and liquor, fresh produce and automobiles.
Contact: Professor John Liefeld, (519) 824-4120 Ext. 3328 or Communications and Public Affairs, (519) 824-4120 Ext. 3338