Szerb, Boglárka, Jolán Horvath, & Viktória Szente (2020). Consumer perception of Hungarian agroforestry products – results of a Q-methodology attitude research study. Studies in Agricultural Economics, 122(3), 124-131. (Access: https://doi.org/10.7896/j.2077)

Abstract: In our study we investigated agroforestry systems and the market for products derived from them, from a consumer perspective. Agroforestry products are not yet in the public domain, so our research focused on the latent market for agroforestry products. This allowed the participants to form only an opinion, reactions which we were able to reveal using the Q-method. In our study, we targeted average consumers who are independent from agroforestry systems and products. Out of the 174 Q-Sort questionnaires, 85 were filled out with valid responses. As a result of our Q-analysis, we created 4 factors in order to minimise the number of factors and achieve a given level of total variance. Factor ‘A’ (N=26) “Alternative, Green Consumers” are committed to the products of the sustainable economy, so agroforestry products would also be of interest. Factor ‘B’ (N=21) “Inquisitive Consumers” are interested in and eager to be informed about the products purchased, and they are willing to pay more for agroforestry products. For Factor ‘C’ (N=10) “Busy Consumers”, the low ecological footprint of agroforestry products is a big advantage, and they can be reached with articles published on various news portals and online media most effectively. Opinion Groups ‘A’ and ‘B’ choose the traditional market for their purchases – this is why direct selling at local or farmers’ markets, fairs, or short supply chains can be beneficial. Potential consumers also appear to be willing to pay a higher price if they find an attractive product from an agroforestry system.

Viktória Szente <szente.viktoria@szie.hu> is in the Faculty of Economics, Institute of Marketing and Management, Szent István University, Kaposvár Campus, Kaposvár, Hungary.

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