The future of typical regional food: An empiric analysis about youth consumers in Lombardy

Crescentini, Alberto and Chiappa, Marco and Russo, Vincenzo (2012) The future of typical regional food: An empiric analysis about youth consumers in Lombardy. In: XXX International Congress of Psychology XXX International Congress of Psychology, 22.07.2012-17.07.2012, Cape Town, South Africa. (In Press)

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Taste and eating habits are changing and they can become unsustainable for our planet. Bearing in mind this challenge, our research question is: What are the trends about the typical regional food now, and what will it be in the future in a rich area of Europe? In literature the practices of food consumption have been included into a different field of study: Transmission of family traditions, expression of social class membership, and qualification of social hierarchy. Knowing that usually habits and taste about food remain stable after adolescence and during the entire life course, we want to explore the field of taste, habits of consumption and attitudes to buy typical regional food of young people that live in Lombardy. The goal of this contribution is to identify young consumption attitudes in Lombardy (the richest and most industrial region of Italy) with respect to the usage of typical food. This work has been conducted in collaboration with "Dipartimento dei Servizi all’Agricoltura P.O. Promozione dell’agroalimentare, Regione Lombardia". Data has been collected following a mixed methods approach with the aim of doing a work of triangulation of sources. Information has been collected using 78 in depth interviews (from young people, retail, manufacturers) and 1273 questionnaires (972 online and 183 face to face). Main results of the search included: Consistency with literature, family as medium to transmit food consumption traditions, identification of food consumption trends, identification of typical as healthy, presence of "unconscious" consumption, and taste as first driver of food consumption.

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