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Perspectives of emotional food communication for farm operators

  • Nina StockebrandEmail author
  • Katia Laura Sidali
  • Achim Spiller
Conference paper

Abstract

Similarly to other countries, farm tourism operators in Germany have also acknowledged the great potential of high-quality food (regional, organic, etc.) in reinforcing guests’ ties to the territory and access, in this way, new target segments. However, due to limited entrepreneurship capabilities farmers may fail at finding the adequate communication of the food component within the farm tourism supply. In the marketing and tourism literature, emotional communication strategies, above all storytelling, are considered very successful. However, there is no empirical evidence whether a story or a more informative communication style is more successful in marketing of regional food in tourism. Hence, by means of an experimental design, this study compares different communication tools (information list, text and story) in order to detect within a sample of 122 students, which is the most appropriate strategy to promote high-quality food. Although storytelling shows the strongest emotional linkage with the readers, there is no evidence that this leads also to a higher buying intention as only 30 % of the respondents are convinced to buy the product after reading the story. In contrast, a high buying intention is reached by means of the text. Such a communication technique seems appropriate to promote regional food since it is not too emotional as to frighten individuals, nor too sparse as to reduce the attractiveness of the food.

Zusammenfassung

Ähnlich wie in anderen Ländern haben die deutschen Anbieter von Urlaub auf dem Bauernhof das große Potenzial von hochwertigen Lebensmitteln (regionale, bio, usw.) erkannt, um die Beziehung zwischen Gast und Land zu stärken und dadurch neue Zielsegmente anzusprechen. Jedoch können viele Landwirte aufgrund ihrer bisher begrenzten Marketingkenntnisse den Kunden das Lebensmittelangebot nicht hinreichend vermitteln. In der Marketing- und Tourismusliteratur werden emotionale Kommunikationsstrategien, vor allem das Geschichtenerzählen, als sehr erfolgreich angesehen. Es gibt aber keine empirischen Belege dafür, ob bei der Vermarktung regionaler Lebensmittel eine Geschichte oder ein eher informativer Kommunikationsstil erfolgreicher ist. Folglich wurden mittels eines experimentellen Designs verschiedene Kommunikationstexte verglichen (Informationsliste, Fließtext und Geschichte), um die beste Kommunikationsstrategie für hochwertige Lebensmittel zu ermitteln. Die Stichprobe in dieser Pilotstudie umfasst 122 Studenten. Obwohl das Geschichtenerzählen die stärkste emotionale Bindung bei den Lesern aufweist, gibt es keinen Nachweis, dass dies auch zu einer höheren Kaufbereitschaft führt. Insgesamt gaben aber 30% der Befragten an, das Produkt nach dem Lesen der Geschichte kaufen zu wollen. Im Gegensatz dazu ist durch den Fließtext eine hohe Kaufbereitschaft erzielt worden. Eine solche Kommunikationsmethode scheint geeignet, regionale Lebensmittel zu fördern, da sie weder zu emotional noch zu informationslastig ist.

Riassunto

Conformemente alle altre nazioni, anche in Germania gli operatori agrituristici hanno compreso il potenziale del cibo d’alta qualità (regionale, biologico, etc.) capace di rinforzare i legami degli ospiti con il territorio nonché di attirare nuovi turisti. Ciononostante, a causa di scarse abilità imprenditoriali, i gestori agrituristici non riescono sempre a comunicare efficacemente la componente agroalimentare che caratterizza l’offerta agrituristica. Nella letteratura turistica e di marketing sono considerate di grande successo le strategie di comunicazione emozionale quali, ad esempio, lo ‘story-telling’. Tuttavia non c’è evidenza empirica sul fatto che una storia o una forma di comunicazione più informativa sia anche più efficace nella commercializzazione di prodotti alimentari regionali nell’ambito del turismo. Quindi sulla base di un disegno sperimentale, lo studio pilota esaminato in questo articolo confronta vari sistemi di comunicazione (un mero elenco di informazioni, un testo e una storia), per scoprire, su un campione di 122 studenti, quale sia la strategia più adatta a promuovere alimenti d’alta qualità. Anche se la tecnica dello ‘story-telling’ dimostra il più forte legame emotivo con i lettori, non c’è evidenza che ciò conduca pure ad una maggiore intenzione d’acquisto, dato che solo il 30 % di chi ha risposto intende comprare il prodotto dopo aver letto la storia. Invece l’intenzione d’acquisto è maggiore dopo aver letto le informazioni contenute nel testo. Quest’ultima sembra la tecnica di comunicazione più adatta a pubblicizzare il cibo regionale dal momento che non è fortemente emotiva.

Keywords

Storytelling Farm tourism Emotional food consumption 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nina Stockebrand
    • 1
    Email author
  • Katia Laura Sidali
    • 1
  • Achim Spiller
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural DevelopmentUniversity of GöttingenGöttingenGermany

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