Joan Collins
SPANISH people are becoming more demanding when choosing products and services.
A study published by “Consumer” magazine, with figures from the last five years, reveals that people are very worried about food and health.
However, even though they may not be satisfied with the information they receive about products and services, they are not very inclined to complain.
Nevertheless, although only 21 percent of people made formal complaints last year, the percentage has almost doubled since 2002, when it was 12 percent. With regard to food, they rate the products they buy as good, although confidence in these products rose by just 0.04 percent between 2003 and 2005.
Consumers lack confidence in two sectors: fast food (whose rating has risen just 0.01 percent during the last five years, from 3.3 to 3.4, a resounding flop); and genetically modified food. Restaurants, in general, were regarded as good and given a mark of 6.6 out of 10. They particularly value branded food products, and the marks given to “quality” brands has risen from 5.6 to 6.1 in the last five years. With regard to the shopping centres, the Spanish are no longer inclined to use the traditional markets and grocery shops and more and more are opting to do their shopping in supermarkets and hypermarkets. Consumers trust organic produce but only 44 percent of shoppers said they had bought organic produce during the last year. And the Spanish do not seem to be aware of Fair Trade products, as the majority not only do not buy these products but also do not know which ones they are. This fact links with the scanty membership of non governmental organisations and the fact that most people who deal with them don't usually join them but just give them money from time to time. The Spanish are adamant that they should defend their rights (70 percent), but very few complain to the Consumers Association (24 percent), or local authorities (just 3 percent).

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