To what can we attribute the popularity of Québec produits du terroir? What is it that attracts consumers to these products and motivates them to buy?
Catherine Parissier, a researcher in the Faculty of Administration at Université de Sherbrooke, addressed this question using the concept of "consumer-perceived value". Her research identified the factors that constitute the perceived value of terroir products, measured them and helped to determine which are the most important.
The use of a reserved designation to identify such products would enhance their perceived value.
Parissier began by establishing a picture of the different categories of terroir products in Québec, differentiating them from other similar products such as regional products. She also drew up a profile of Québec consumers of terroir products, who are attracted to their quality, that is to say the "perceived" quality of the connection with people, land and traditions in addition to producers.
Her findings suggest that the use of a reserved designation to identify such products would enhance their perceived value by providing a guarantee of authenticity. This study provides a greater understanding of Québec's terroir products and a scale for measuring the consumer-perceived value of such products, two important marketing tools. It also clarifies the meaning of the term "produit du terroir", which will help industry professionals (producers, tourism operators) to make better use of the concept without overusing it.
In addition to an article published in the journal Organisations et Territoire, the study's findings have been the subject of presentations in Québec and France and of interviews on several Radio-Canada programs.