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Article
Publication date: 5 January 2015

Fredrik Fernqvist, Sara Spendrup and Lena Ekelund

While potato consumption in Europe and North America declines, other carbohydrate sources increase. The purpose of this paper is to explore factors affecting consumers 

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Abstract

Purpose

While potato consumption in Europe and North America declines, other carbohydrate sources increase. The purpose of this paper is to explore factors affecting consumers’ changing consumption behaviour as regards fresh potato.

Design/methodology/approach

Six semi-structured focus group interviews were conducted. Thematic analysis was made by means of a theory-driven approach.

Findings

Seven categories of factors affecting consumer choice of fresh potato were found and discussed: first, convenience and preparation-related factors; second, health; third, information and packaging; fourth, sensory appeal; fifth, monetary considerations; sixth, familiarity and habit; and seventh, sustainability and ethics. Convenience appears to be the strongest explanation to changing food behaviour.

Research limitations/implications

The research contributes to present knowledge regarding food choice and consumers’ carbohydrate intake. Findings of previous research is both validated and questioned. Methodological limitations are discussed, suggesting complementary quantitative approaches to the findings based on qualitative research.

Practical implications

The findings add to knowledge of consumer behaviour and food choice. The findings may suggest focus areas in strategic marketing research, facilitating strategic decisions in response to falling consumption of fresh potatoes due to changing consumer attitudes and behaviour.

Originality/value

By using a theory-driven approach in a thematic analysis, a broad set of interview data from six focus group interviews has been summarised and categorised. The methodology shows an effective way to treat a large amount of qualitative data and condense it to straightforward themes.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 117 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 March 2015

Fredrik Fernqvist, Annika Olsson and Sara Spendrup

The purpose of this paper is to explore consumer views on different aspects of packaging, exemplified by a common product in the fruit and vegetable category and to…

5680

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore consumer views on different aspects of packaging, exemplified by a common product in the fruit and vegetable category and to identify advantages and disadvantages perceived by consumers purchasing packaged or unpackaged products.

Design/methodology/approach

Three focus group interviews were conducted. Thematic analysis based on theory was performed. The findings were categorised into nine themes.

Findings

Consumer views on packaging aspects were revealed, covering: packaging material; pack size; protection and preservation; convenience; price; communication and information; ethical perspectives; novelty and innovation; and advantages and disadvantages of packaged and unpackaged products.

Research limitations/implications

The study adds to present knowledge on the role of packaging in consumers’ food choices. The qualitative analysis identified areas for further research through quantitative methods.

Practical implications

Challenges in communicating the consumer benefits of packaging and ways to improve the attractiveness of items in the fresh produce category were identified. The results can potentially assist in improving food packaging design practice to the mutual benefit of consumers and suppliers.

Originality/value

Fruit and vegetables is generally a category with weak branding and low levels of packaging. This study examined the role of packaging in a category with substantial opportunities for differentiation and increasing consumer value. The results can be applied in immediate practice and/or serve as a basis for further research.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 117 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 September 2014

Lena Ekelund, Erik Hunter, Sara Spendrup and Heléne Tjärnemo

Current food consumption patterns contribute negatively to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change. Positioned at the interface between producers and consumers…

Abstract

Purpose

Current food consumption patterns contribute negatively to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change. Positioned at the interface between producers and consumers, retailers have the potential to reduce this problem through informing their customers on the consequences of their actions. The purpose of this paper is to understand the variety of ways European retailers go about informing their customers on the linkage between food choice and climate change as well as which actions they advocate in-store to reduce the problem.

Design/methodology/approach

In-store walkthroughs lasting between 40 minutes and 1.5 hours were carried out at 30 grocery stores in five European countries to identify climate mitigating communications. The observations targeted any message produced and transmitted by the retailer where links between food and climate change were drawn.

Findings

The diversity in climate mitigating food communication we expected to find across Europe did not materialize. Only four out of the 30 retailers visited transmitted to their customers any information showing a direct link between food consumption and climate change. Indirectly, the authors found some retailers communicating food choices believed to lead to GHG reduction without linking them to climate change. Finally the authors found several retailers communicating what the authors argue are ambiguous messages to their customers where sustainability issues were confounded with climate ones. The dearth of climate mitigating food communications reveals the complexity in informing customers on such issues but also a possible lack of interest on the part of both parties.

Originality/value

This research contributes empirically to knowledge of how retailers communicate climate mitigating food consumption to consumers.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 116 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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