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Regular Articles

Vol. 23 No. 1 (2021)

Mountain beef and wine: Italian consumers’ definitions and opinions on the mountain labelling-scheme

marzo 29, 2021


Despite the importance of mountain areas and mountain farming, the literature on studies on consumers’ opinion concerning mountain food products is not numerous. In order to contribute to filling this gap, this study aims at exploring Italian consumers’ opinions regarding beef and wine produced in mountain areas as well as their opinions concerning the new European regulation on mountain food products. To do so, a qualitative approach with observations, focus groups and semi-structured interviews were applied. The results indicate that consumers living in mountain areas and those living in non-mountain areas, including rural areas, have different knowledge about the practices in mountain farming and different opinions concerning mountain food products. Nevertheless, both want mountain food products to be healthier and sustainably produced. Furthermore, they associate wine and beef mainly to credence attributes. As for European regulation, most criticisms are directed to the flexibility of the rules. The inclusion of wine in the mountain quality scheme is not a consensus among consumers. However, the analyses point to the existence of consumers who are interested in wines produced in mountain areas, indicating the emergence of a potential niche market for these wines.


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