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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Food consumer behavior and its relation to personality and cultural constructs during Covid-19 pandemic

Published: May 25, 2021


Dora Ga?eša, University of Zagreb/Faculty of Economics and Business; Ruzica Brecic, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics and Business; Dario Cven?ek, University of Washington/ Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences; Matthew Gorton, Newcastle University Business School


The Covid-19 pandemic and related lockdowns witnessed substantial changes in consumer behavior, notably increased stockpiling and the local food consumption. However, not all consumers reacted in the same manner. To understand variations in stockpiling and local food purchases during the Covid-19 pandemic, the paper considers the roles of neuroticism, as an aspect of personality, and collectivism, a cultural dimension. Hypothesis testing draws on survey data from Croatia (n=187), collected during the 2020 lockdown. Results indicate that consumers higher in both neuroticism and horizontal collectivism engaged in greater stockpiling activities. Consumers higher in horizontal collectivism engaged in local buying more than consumers lower in horizontal collectivism. There was no effect of neuroticism on local food buying. The analysis reveals the importance of cultural factors for understanding variations in consumer behavioral reactions when faced with a common macro-level crisis.