To read this content please select one of the options below:

Boycotting and buycotting food: new forms of political activism in Spain

Amparo Novo Vázquez (Department of Sociology, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain)
Isabel García-Espejo (Department of Sociology, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 5 March 2021

Issue publication date: 29 June 2021




The actions of the political consumer of food may be manifested either through boycotting or through deliberate purchase of certain products based on ethical, environmental or political values (buycotting). This article has several objectives: to analyse which factors predict the behaviour of political consumers of food; to examine how they perceive that their actions can contribute to social or political change and that the political system will respond to their interests and to people's needs and to discover whether, for the political consumer of food, good citizen behaviour comes closer to the norms of the socially “engaged” or “dutiful”.


A national survey of 1,000 people was conducted in Spain. For the analysis of the data, logistic regression models were developed to determine the factors that most influenced the boycott or deliberate purchase. To address the relationship between food consumption in the political arena and political effectiveness and citizenship standards, the authors have conducted factor analyses of the main components.


The main results show political food consumers to be people who are interested in politics, distrust government and big business, are confident in their ability to influence these groups to change practices that are not in line with their values and have a high degree of social engagement.

Social implications

Consumers are demanding a fairer and more supportive agri-food production system, a healthier and more environmentally friendly diet and accountability from both the private sector and policymakers.


These data represent progress in the study of this form of political action in Spain as there are no precedents.



This work was supported by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, and AEI/FEDER, UE (Alimentación y Estructura Social. Análisis de las desigualdades sociales en España-CSO2015-68434-R; Consumo Político Alimentario: Ciudadanía, Activistas e Instituciones-CSO2016-76293-R).


Novo Vázquez, A. and García-Espejo, I. (2021), "Boycotting and buycotting food: new forms of political activism in Spain", British Food Journal, Vol. 123 No. 7, pp. 2492-2505.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles