Local food consumption during the covid-19 pandemic

Main Article Content

Zohra Ghali-Zinoubi


consumer behavior, COVID-19 pandemic, local food, purchase intention, Tunisia


The influence of intrinsic quality, health consciousness, environmental awareness, local support, and proximity of process on consumers’ intention to consume local food during the COVID-19 pandemic was tested, with food availability as a moderator. Online survey results were analyzed using a two-step structural equation modelling (SEM). Health consciousness was the major reason for consuming local food. Intrinsic quality and proximity of process were also significant drivers. Local support and environmental awareness have little impact on the intention to purchase local food. This study contributes to knowledge regarding the main factors driving local food consumption during a health crisis, providing directions.

Abstract 99 | PDF Downloads 79 HTML Downloads 7 XML Downloads 134


Aday, S. and Aday, M.S., 2020. Impact of COVID-19 on food supply chain, Food Quality and Safety, 4: 167–180. 10.1093/fqsafe/fyaa024

Almayed, A., 2019. Food security in Tunisia: a need to move back to sovereignty, perspectives 2/2019: ecological and social transformation in Africa: rethinking food systems for a +2°C world. Available at: https://www.boell.de/en/2020/02/10/ecological-and-social-transformation-africa.

Anderson, J.C. and Narus, J.A., 1990. A model of distributor firm and manufacturer firm working partnerships. Journal of Marketing 54: 42–58. 10.2307/1252172

Aprile, M.C., Caputo, V. and Nayga, R.M., Jr., 2016. Consumers’ preferences and attitudes toward local food products. Journal of Food Products Marketing 22(1): 19–42. 10.1080/10454446.2014.949990

Arsil, P., Brindal, M. and Muyani, K., 2018. Determinants of consumers’ preferences for local food: a comparison study from urban and rural areas in Indonesia. Journal of Business and Retail Management Research (JBRMR). 13(2): 184–195. 10.24052/JBRMR/V13IS02/ART-16

Bagozzi, R. and Yi, Y., 1988. On the evaluation of structure equation models. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 16: 74–94. 10.1007/BF02723327

Bagozzi, R.P., Yi, Y. and Nassen, K.D., 1998. Representation of measurement error in marketing variables: review of approaches and extension to three-facet designs. Journal of Econometrics 89(1): 393–421. 10.1016/S0304-4076(98)00068-2

Bazzani, C. and Canavari, M., 2017. Is local a matter of food miles or food traditions? Italian Journal of Food Science 29(3): 505–517. 10.14674/IJFS-733

Ben Hassen, T., El Bilali, H. and Allahyari, M.S., 2020. Impact of COVID-19 on food behavior and consumption in Qatar. Sustainability 12: 6973. 10.3390/su12176973

Ben Hassen, T., El Bilali, H., Allahyari, M.S., Berjan, S. and Fotina, O., 2021a. Food purchase and eating behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional survey of Russian adults. Appetite 165(10): 105309. 10.1016/j.appet.2021.105309

Ben Hassen, T., El Bilali, H., Allahyari, M.S. and Charbel, L., 2021b. Food shopping, preparation and consumption practices in times of COVID-19: case of Lebanon. Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print). 10.1108/JADEE-01-2021-0022

Bentsen, K. and Pedersen, P.E., 2020. Consumers in local food markets: from adoption to market co-creation? British Food Journal 123(3): 1083–1102. 10.1108/BFJ-03-2020-0173

Bergadaà, M. and Del Bucchia, C., 2009. La recherche de proximité par le client dans le secteur de la grande consommation alimentaire. Revue management & avenir 121: 121–135. 10.3917/mav.021.0121

Birch, D., Memery, J. and Kanakaratne, M.S., 2018. The mindful consumer: balancing egoistic and altruistic motivations to purchase local food. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 40: 221–228. 10.1016/j.jretconser.2017.10.013

Celimli, S. and. Adanacioglu, H., 2021. Comparison of social media platforms in terms of marketing performances of food companies. Italian Journal of Food Science 33(2): 54–62. 10.15586/ijfs.v33i2.2031

Chin, W.W., Gopal, A. and Salisbury, W.D., 1997. Advancing the theory of adaptive structuration: the development of a scale to measure faithfulness of appropriation. Information Systems Research 8(4): 342–367. 10.1287/isre.8.4.342

Cranfield, J.A.L., 2020. Framing consumer food demand responses in a viral pandemic. Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 68: 151–156. 10.1111/cjag.12246

Duda-Chodak, A., Lukasiewicz, M., Ziec, G., Florkiewicz, A. and Filipiak-Florkiewicz, A., 2020. COVID-19 pandemic and food: present knowledge, risks, consumers fears and safety. Trends in Food Science & Technology 105: 145–160. 10.1016/j.tifs.2020.08.020

Dutta-Bergman, M.J., 2004. Primary sources of health information: comparisons in the domain of health attitudes, health cognitions, and health behaviors. Health Communication 16(3): 273–288. 10.1207/S15327027HC1603_1

Eger, L., kaKomárková, L., Egerováa, D. and Mičík, M., 2021. The effect of COVID-19 on consumer shopping behaviour: generational cohort perspective, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 61: 102542. 10.1016/j.jretconser.2021.102542

Fandos, C. and Flavian, C., 2006. Intrinsic and extrinsic quality attributes loyalty and buying intention: an analysis for a PDO product. British Food Journal 108(8): 646–662. 10.1108/00070700610682337

Galanakis, C.M., 2020. The food systems in the era of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic crisis. Foods. 9(4): 1–10. 10.3390/foods9040523

Ghali-Zinoubi, Z., 2020. Effect of utilitarian and hedonic values on consumer willingness to buy and to pay for organic olive oil in Tunisia. British Food Journal 122(4): 1013–1026. 10.1108/BFJ-06-2019-0414

Ghali-Zinoubi, Z., 2021. Effects of organic food perceived values on attitude and behavior in developing country: role of price sensitivity. Pakistan Journal of Agricultural Sciences 58(3): 779–788. 10.1007/s13197-020-04618-9

Hair, J.F., Ringle, C.M. and Sarstedt, M., 2013. Partial least squares structural equation modelling: rigorous applications, better results and higher acceptance, Long Range Planning 46(1–2): 1–12. Available at: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2233795.

Hobbs, J.E., 2020. Food supply chains during the COVID-19 pandemic. Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics 68: 171–176. 10.1111/cjag.12237

IGD, 2005. The local and regional food opportunity. The Institute of Grocery Distribution, Watford, ND, pp. 1–8.

Janetius, S.T. and Krithika, S., 2020. Health consciousness and health knowledge among yoga enthusiasts during COVID-19 pandemic 2020: a qualitative analysis. International Journal of Health Sciences and Research 5(4). Available at: http://ijshr.com/IJSHR_Vol.5_Issue.4_Oct2020/IJSHR001.pdf.

Jribi, S., Ben Ismail, H., Doggui, D. and Debbabi, H., 2020. COVID-19 virus outbreak lockdown: what impacts on household food wastage? Environment, Development and Sustainability 22: 3939–3955. 10.1007/s10668-020-00740-y

Kirkm, C.P. and Rifkin, R.S., 2020. I’ll trade you diamonds for toilet paper: consumer reacting, coping and adapting behaviors in the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Business Research 117: 124–131. 10.1016/j.jbusres.2020.05.028

Kumar, A. and Kashyap, A.K., 2018. Leveraging utilitarian perspective of online shopping to motivate online shoppers. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management 46(3): 247–263. 10.1108/IJRDM-08-2017-0161

Loiseau, E., Colin, M., Alaphilippe, A., Coste, G. and Roux, P., 2020. To what extent are short food supply chains (SFSCs) environmentally friendly? Application to French apple distribution using life cycle assessment. Journal of Cleaner Production 276: 124166. 10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.124166

Lovel, A., Saw, R. and Stimson, J., 2005. Product value-density: managing diversity through supply chain segmentation. International Journal of Logistics Management 16(1): 142–158. 10.1108/09574090510617394

Mazieres and Gauthier, 2015. Achat de produits locaux et proximité perçue en Grandes Surfaces Alimentaires. In: Acte of Etienne Thill annuel conférence, October, Paris, pp. 14–16.

Megicks, P., Memery, J. and Angel, R., 2012. Understanding local food shopping: unpacking the ethical dimension. Journal of Marketing Management 28(3–4): 264–289. 10.1080/0267257X.2012.658838

Memery, J., Angell, R., Megicks, P. and Lindgreen, A., 2015. Unpicking motives to purchase locally-produced food: analysis of direct and moderation effects. European Journal of Marketing 49(7/8): 1207–1233. 10.1108/EJM-02-2014-0075

Merle, A. and Piotrowski, M., 2012. Consommer des produits alimentaires locaux–comment et pourquoi? Décision Marketing 67: 37–48. 10.7193/DM.067.37.48

Mesić, Z., Petljak, K., Borović, D. and Tomić, M., 2020. Segmentation of local food consumers based on altruistic motives and perceived purchasing barriers: a Croatian study. Economic Research-Ekonomska Istraživanja. 34(1): 221–242. 10.1080/1331677X.2020.1782243

Meyerding, S.G.H., Trajer, N. and Lehberger, M., 2019. What is local food? The case of consumer preferences for local food labeling of tomatoes in Germany. Journal of Cleaner Production 207: 30–43. 10.1038/s41430-020-0634-3

Moderator Intelligence, 2020. Tunisia fruit and vegetable market–growth, trends, COVID-19 impact, and forecasts (2021–2026). Available at: https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/tunisian-fruit-vegetable-market.

Naja, F. and Hamadeh, R., 2020. Nutrition amid the COVID-19 pandemic: a multi-level framework for action. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 74, 1117-1121. 10.1038/s41430-020-0634-3

Ozturk, S.B. and Akoglu, A., 2020. Assessment of local food use in the context of sustainable food: a research in food and beverage enterprises in Izmir, Turkey. International Journal of Gastronomy & Food Science 20: 100194. 10.1016/j.ijgfs.2020.100194

Pantano, E., Pizzi, G., Scarpi, D. and Dennis, C., 2020. Competing during a pandemic? Retailers’ ups and downs during the COVID-19 outbreak. Journal of Business Research 116: 209–213. 10.1016/j.jbusres.2020.05.036

Peterson, G.R., 2013. Is eating locally a moral obligation? Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 26: 421–437. 10.1007/s10806-012-9397-8

Pícha, K., Navrátil, J. and Švec, R., 2017. Preference to local food vs. preference to “national” and regional food. Journal of Food Products Marketing 24(2): 125–145. 10.1080/10454446.2016.1266549

Pressman, P., Naidu, A. and Clemens, R., 2020. COVID-19 and food safety. Nutrition Today 55(3): 125–128. 10.1097/NT.0000000000000415

Pu, B., Zhang, L., Tang, Z. and Qiu, Y., 2020. The relationship between health consciousness and home-based exercise in China during the COVID-19 pandemic. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17: 5693. 10.3390/ijerph17165693

Qi, X., Yu, H. and Ploeger, A., 2020. Exploring influential factors including COVID-19 on green food purchase intentions and the intention–behaviour gap: a qualitative study among consumers in a Chinese context. International Journal Environmental Research and Public Health 17: 1–22. 10.3390/ijerph17197106

Rizou, M., Galanakis, I.M., Aldawoud, T.M.S. and Galanakis, C.M., 2020. Safety of foods, food supply chain and environment within the COVID-19 pandemic, Trends in Food Science & Technology. 102: 293-299. 10.1016/j.tifs.2020.06.008

Rousseau, S. and Deschacht, N., 2020. Public awareness of nature and the environment during the COVID-19 crisis. Environmental and Resource Economics Journal, 76: 1149–1159. 10.1007/s10640-020-00445-w

Roy, H., Hall, C.M. and Ballantine, P.W., 2019. Connecting local food to foodservice businesses: an exploratory qualitative study on wholesale distributors “perceived benefits and challenges.” Journal of Foodservice Business Research 22(3): 261–285. 10.1080/15378020.2019.1600891

Salah, M., 2021. Value of imports and exports in the agriculture and food sector in Tunisia from 2018 to 2020. Statista. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1190806/import-and-export-of-agriculture-and-food-in-tunisia/.

Severo, E.A., De Guimaraes, J.C. and Dellarmelin, M.L., 2020. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on environmental awareness, sustainable consumption and social responsibility: evidence from generations in Brazil and Portugal. Journal of Cleaner Production 286: 124947 10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.124947

Sheth, J., 2020. Impact of covid-19 on consumer behavior: will the old habits return or die? Journal of Business Research 117: 280–283. 10.1016/j.jbusres.2020.05.059

Shveda, K., 2020. How coronavirus is changing grocery shopping? BBC & Corteva Agriscience. Available at: https://www.bbc.com/future/bespoke/follow-the-food/how-covid-19-is-changing-food-shopping.html.

Skallerud, K. and Wien, A., 2019. Preference for local food as a matter of helping behavior: insights from Norway. Journal of Rural Studies 67: 79–88. 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2019.02.020

Smith, M.D. and Wesselbaum, D., 2020. COVID-19, food insecurity, and migration. Journal Nutrition 150(11): 2855–2858. 10.1093/jn/nxaa270

Steinhart, Y., David, M. and Kamins, M.A., 2013. The process by which product availability triggers purchase. Market Letter 24: 217–228. 10.1007/s11002-013-9227-4

Todorovic, V., Maslaric, M., Bojic, S., Jokic, M., Mircetic, D. and Nokolicic, S., 2018. Solutions for more sustainable distribution in the short food supply chains. Sustainability 10: 3481. 10.3390/su10103481

Toukabri, M. and Ghali-Zinoubi, Z., 2020. Proximity and confidence in purchasing local food. International Journal of Ecology Development 35(4): 63–77.

Verma, P., 2020. The effect of presentation, product availability and ease upon transaction reliability for online food delivery aggregator applications–moderated mediated model. Journal of Foodservice Business Research 23(4): 285–304. 10.1080/15378020.2020.1761586

Xie, X., Huang, L., Li, J.J. and Zhu, H., 2020. Generational differences in perceptions of food health/risk and attitudes toward organic food and game meat: the case of the COVID-19 crisis in China. International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health 17: 3148. 10.3390/ijerph17093148

Yadav, R., 2016. Altruistic or egoistic: which value promotes organic food consumption among young consumers? A study in the context of a developing nation. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 33: 92–97. 10.1016/j.jretconser.2016.08.008

Yuen, K.F., Wang, X., Ma, F. and Li, K.X., 2020. The psychological causes of panic buying following a health crisis. International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health 17: 3513. 10.3390/ijerph17103513