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Consumers' and producers' perceptions of markets: service levels of the most important short food supply chains in Hungary

Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (ACDC)
Szabo, Dorottya (main author), Juhasz, Aniko (author)
Journal article
Publication Date:
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center, Funk Library, University of Illinois
Subject Term:
attitudes, consumers, direct marketing, farmers, food, information issues, information needs, knowledge level, perceptions, rural-urban communication, rural-urban differences, food industry, farmer markets, information gaps, urban agriculture, food supply, services, information level, Hungary (Europe), rural-urban networks, food chain
In recent years, there has been a rapid growth in new type, direct and short supply chains (SSC) Hungary, and the markets have proved to be globalisation-resilient, keeping their market share from sales of fast-moving consumer goods. We conducted a consumer and producer survey to identify the most important expectations and experiences about markets in Hungary. We applied a service quality model (SERVQUAL) to measure the consumers’ and producers’ opinions and satisfaction of Hungarian markets. A warning result of our study is that vendors estimate their level of service above that of the consumers’ experiences which means that, in spite of the direct communication, they do not have an accurate understanding of their customers’ requirements. Our surveys also showed that there is a substantial deficiency between the services expected and experienced at markets in all dimensions (environment, service, convenience and produce) that influence the choice of retail channel. The most important dimension proved to be produce quality which should thus remain in the focus of market developments. In recent years, new trends in urban local food movements have started to emerge in Hungary which could not be detected at the time of our survey (2012). Thus we intend to extend our survey in the future to see whether these new local-alternative food movements have formed a new consumer segment for farmers’ markets in Hungary, and in what way should the market vendors modify their services to be able to ride this new trend.