In modern food markets with standardized and homogeneous products, seals of approval and origin information provide an opportunity for product differentiation. However, do consumers really use these extrinsic quality cues in their purchase decisions? If so, what determines the use of cues? The authors investigated consumers' actual use of seals of approval and origin information when shopping for pork. A consumer survey with 752 participants was conducted in Germany at several food retailers. Results show that cue usage varies with the shopper's usage goals, time pressure, level of involvement, perceived risk and quality consciousness, prior knowledge, sociodemographic characteristics, and with the shopping environment. [Econ Lit classifications: D120, M310, Q130]. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.