Browsing by Subject "Consumer behaviour"

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  • Grunert, Klaus G.; De Bauw, Michiel; Dean, Moira; Lähteenmäki, Liisa; Maison, Dominika; Pennanen, Kyösti; Sandell, Mari A.; Stasiuk, Katarzyna; Stickel, Lisa; Tarrega, Amparo; Vainio, Annukka; Vranken, Liesbet (2021)
    The COVID-19 pandemic and especially the lockdowns coming with it have been a disruptive event also for food consumption. In order to study the impact of the pandemic on eating habits, self-reported changes in food-related behaviours were investigated in ten European countries by means of an online survey. A latent class cluster analysis distinguished five clusters and showed that different types of consumers can be distinguished based on how they react to the pandemic as regards their eating habits. While food-related behaviours were resilient for 60% of the sample, another 35% reported more enjoyment in cooking and eating, more time in the kitchen and more family meals. Among those, a slight majority also showed signs of more mindful eating, as indicated by more deliberate choices and increased consumption of healthy food, whereas a slight minority reported more consumption of indulgence food. Only 5% indicated less involvement with food. As the COVID-19 pandemic is a disruptive event, some of these changes may have habit-breaking properties and open up new opportunities and challenges for food policy and food industry.
  • Malila, Roosa-Maaria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The food system is not in a sustainable state. The current ways of producing and consuming food are significant contributors to climate change and biodiversity loss. In order to be able to feed the growing population of humans and ensure the living conditions on the Earth in the future there needs to be a sustainable transition in the food system. In this study, consumer-centric approach towards understanding how the transition to more ecologically sustainable food system can be made is taken. It is essential to take this bottom-up approach to the larger transition in ecological sustainability from the adolescents viewpoint, as they are the consumers of the future, and in early stages in creating their independent food consumption patterns. In addition, there is an apparent need for research on adolescents perceptions on the topic. Therefore three research questions were opposed: Firstly, are Finnish adolescents interested in ecologically sustainable food consumption? Secondly, what does ecologically sustainable food consumption mean for them? Thirdly, how would they change their food consumption habits in order to make it more ecologically sustainable? Research questions were approached qualitatively by collecting the data in eight online focus groups. Participants in the focus groups were 16 to 25 years-old Finnish adolescents. The data was analysed with discourse analysis. As the theoretical background for this research was in sustainability transitions, the results were organized by using the Five O’s framework, which consists from objectives, obstacles, options, opportunities and outcomes. According to the study, this sample of Finnish adolescents were interested in ecologically sustainable food consumption. They were convinced of the possibility that an individual consumer can make a difference through his/her consumption choices. From the adolescents viewpoint, ecologically sustainable food consumption was mostly about reduction of animal-based food products, and the emphasis was on reducing meat eating. The adolescents mentioned also the importance of local and organic food. Food waste did not have that big of a role in relation to ecologically sustainable food consumption, but it was mentioned in a context, that people should buy food only as much as they need. Food should not be wasted. Small carbon footprint and less plastic in food packaging were mentioned as well. The adolescents were willing to change their habits to more ecologically sustainable in many ways, but still they were not willing to compromise radically their current ways of consuming food. In the present everyday life, it was mainly about reducing meat intake and favoring local and organic food products. Still poor taste and structure of meat alternatives, in addition to high price of ecological food in general were seen as the central obstacles. In order to be able to change their ways of consuming even more ecologically in the future, adolescents stated that less-animal based diets should be normalized. There was also a need for reliable and clear information.
  • Papies, Esther K.; Johannes, Niklas; Daneva, Teya; Semyte, Gintare; Kauhanen, Lina-Lotta (2020)
    The production of meat is a main contributor to current dangerous levels of greenhouse gas emissions. However, the shift to more plant-based diets is hampered by consumers finding meat-based foods more attractive than plant-based foods. How can plant-based foods best be described to increase their appeal to consumers? Based on the grounded cognition theory of desire, we suggest that descriptions that trigger simulations, or re-experiences, of eating and enjoying a food will increase the attractiveness of a food, compared to descriptions emphasizing ingredients. In Study 1, we first examined the descriptions of ready meals available in four large UK supermarkets (N = 240). We found that the labels of meat-based foods contained more references to eating simulations than vegetarian foods, and slightly more than plant-based foods, and that this varied between supermarkets. In Studies 2 and 3 (N = 170, N = 166, pre-registered), we manipulated the labels of plant-based and meat-based foods to either include eating simulation words or not. We assessed the degree to which participants reported that the description made them think about eating the food (i.e., induced eating simulations), and how attractive they found the food. In Study 2, where either sensory or eating context words were added, we found no differences with control labels. In Study 3, however, where simulation-based labels included sensory, context, and hedonic words, we found that simulation-based descriptions increased eating simulations and attractiveness. Moreover, frequent meat eaters found plant-based foods less attractive, but this was attenuated when plant-based foods were described with simulation-inducing words. We suggest that language that describes rewarding eating experiences can be used to facilitate the shift toward healthy and sustainable diets.