An exploratory analysis of the factors impacting on Chinese consumer trust in lactic acid bacteria preserved beef and its mediation impact on purchase intention : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirement of the degree Masters in Agricommerce, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Every year, worldwide, millions of people die and many are hospitalized due to
food-borne diseases and illnesses caused by the consumption of contaminated food.
Food safety has continued to be a concern for consumers, the food industry, and
regulatory agencies. In China, there is almost a constant stream of reports about
various food safety issues. Chinese consumers are concerned about the need for
healthier and safer food. The development of science has provided more opportunities
and possibilities to change the way we live. However, consumers’ overall confidence
in Chinese food is not high and they are increasingly skeptical about new food.
This research focuses on a new and not yet launched biological food, Lactic Acid
Bacteria preserved vacuum-sealed chilled beef (LAB beef), as an example to examine
what factors would have a significant correlation with consumers’ trust in this product
and to examine if trust is the key factor impacting on consumers’ purchase intention.
In order to complete the study objectives, a self-completed social survey was
conducted in Shanghai City and Chengdu City, totaling 514 respondents. The analysis
methods used included a measure of correlation, Gamma, principal component
analysis and structural equation modeling. SPSS, Excel and Amos software were
One outcome of this research was the finding that a number of socio-demographic
factors were not strongly correlated with consumer trust in LAB beef, unlike some
previous research that found such relationships with trust in new food technologies.
Personal beef consumption habits, consumers’ past purchase experience with current
used beef, products, product knowledge and food safety concerns based on their
awareness, experience and media exposure were found to be important in establishing
trust in LAB beef. The second outcome of this research is the confirmation of the importance of trust in determining consumers’ willingness to buy LAB beef, as well
as the confirmation of the mediation effect of trust in explaining the underlying causal
relationship between a number of independent variables and the dependent variable,
willingness to buy.