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Characterising convinced sustainable food consumers

Marie von Meyer-Höfer (Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Marketing for Food and Agricultural Products, Georg-August University, Göttingen, Germany)
Vera von der Wense (Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Marketing for Food and Agricultural Products, Georg-August-University, Göttingen, Germany)
Achim Spiller (Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Marketing for Food and Agricultural Products, Georg-August University, Göttingen, Germany)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 2 March 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the distinguishing socio-demographic and psychographic features of convinced sustainable consumers in contrast to convinced conventional consumers. Furthermore, it contributes to the sparse literature about tea consumption.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on data collected via an online consumer survey. First respondents took part in a choice experiment with tea varying in its price (four levels) and quality (conventional/organic/fair trade/organic and fair trade). Then they had to complete a questionnaire about their attitudes towards food consumption. Respondents, who always chose sustainable tea, at no matter what price, were grouped and those that always chose the conventional tea. A bivariate logistic regression is used to analyse the influencing socio-demographic and attitudinal dimensions that characterise the two groups of convinced consumers.

Findings

Convinced sustainable consumers are more often female than male and perceive that their personal purchase decision has an impact on overall sustainable development. They show a higher willingness to increase sustainability through their consumption behaviour. They are very much interested in high food quality and are not as much influenced by advertisements and offers in their purchase decision making as convinced conventional consumers.

Originality/value

The main contribution of this study is to provide practical information for actors in the field of sustainable food marketing about how to target their most relevant segment, the convinced sustainable consumer with special regard to sustainable tea consumption.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was financially supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Citation

von Meyer-Höfer, M., von der Wense, V. and Spiller, A. (2015), "Characterising convinced sustainable food consumers", British Food Journal, Vol. 117 No. 3, pp. 1082-1104. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-01-2014-0003

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited