The development and validation of a toolkit to measure consumer trust in food

Tony Benson, Fiona Lavelle, Michelle Spence, Christopher T. Elliott, Moira Dean*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
232 Downloads (Pure)


Consumer trust is an important aspect in the functioning of any market but particularly the food and drinks sector. Food safety incidents and changes in food production practices have simultaneously led to a decrease in consumer trust and a need for greater trust. Previous research has developed items to measure consumer trust in food, however, these have not always been subject to validity and reliability testing and there exists no collated toolkit or collection of items to measure trust in various aspects of the food system. Therefore, the current set of studies aimed to develop a valid and reliable consumer trust toolkit which can be used to measure trust in specific aspects of the food system. Study 1 consisted of a literature review of previous consumer trust measures to construct an initial toolkit of items, followed by an exploratory factor analysis (n = 481) to identify the structure of the toolkit. Study 2 (n = 1,027) used confirmatory factor analysis to verify the factor structure of the model from study 1 with six different factors (types of trust): Organisation trust, product trust, interpersonal trust, trust in the food chain, organisation distrust, and general distrust. Study 2 also established the validity of the toolkit (face validity, convergent validity, and discriminant validity). Study 3 resampled a collection of individuals from study 2 (n = 247) to establish composite reliability and temporal stability (test-retest reliability). The resultant consumer trust toolkit provides a valid and reliable collection of items which can be used in future research to measure consumer trust in selected aspects of the food system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106988
JournalFood Control
Early online date08 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Consumer
  • Food
  • Measure
  • Reliability
  • Trust
  • Validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science


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