Increased globalization of food systems, large-scale production and distribution, and retail sales have changed the way food is produced and consumed. The dis-embedded globalized system is characterized by “industrial food” and not well-informed food choices. This has also created many concerns with respect to food safety, food security, health, and sustainability. Food alternatives are developing leading to embedded localized systems. These “alternative food” options include labels such as local, natural, pesticide-free, ecologically friendly, slow food movement, and localvores. The traditional marketing approach and specifically consumer marketing theory are not sufficiently prepared to handle the advent of new types of consumers. These consumers are looking for more than a product, i.e., value products. The objective of the current study is to understand the motives and concerns, product preferences, and consumption patterns of alternative food consumers in both developed and developing countries. To this end, a survey was administered in two countries. The population targeted for this study is alternative food shoppers. Results show mitigated differences between developed country consumers and developing country consumers in terms of food culture and food importance, perception of organic versus local foods, and foods channels of distribution.
Part of the book: Organic Farming