Whose fault is it? Fraud scandal in the milk industry and its impact on product image and consumption – The case of Brazil

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Abstract

Food safety is a crucial thematic to any nation and the frauds in the food chain are an increasingly phenomena nowadays. The general goal of the present work was to identify the perception and behavior of Brazilian fresh milk consumers' in relation to the fraud in the milk production and sell chain. A total of 1015 consumers answered an online questionnaire on the variables that shape decision-making (individual differences, environmental influences and psychological stimuli or processes) and the behavior related to this decision process. The results were discussed based on the theoretical model proposed by Blackwell, Miniard, and Engel (2005) and their 7 stages. The results of this qualitative study showed that the impacts were declared, specially, in the reduction of milk consumption; losses to the image of the sector and the warming of the informal milk market, due to the increase in demand in this trade. The reduction of demand and the depreciation of the agents' image, have a negative impact on the entire chain, since it reduces revenues for all agents and, to a greater degree, for processors and related suppliers/farmers directly with the brands identified in the investigation actions and disclosed in the media. The female consumers were more affected, impacting on a greater reduction of the consumption. Unlike young consumers, they have not changed their behavior in relation to the chain.

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Breitenbach, R., Rodrigues, H., & Brandão, J. B. (2018). Whose fault is it? Fraud scandal in the milk industry and its impact on product image and consumption – The case of Brazil. Food Research International, 108, 475–481. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2018.03.065

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