Browsing by Subject "consumers"

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  • Heikkurinen, Pasi Petteri; Young, Charles William; Morgan, Elizabeth (2019)
  • Harvio, Viktor (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The concept of bioeconomy has been harnessed to support societies and their economies to produce value added products from renewable biological resources and to develop circular economy. Such systems require actions from a variety of actors from public and private sectors to consumers. As a heavily forested country Finland’s bioeconomy leans largely on the utilization of forests. Planned pulp and paper industry investments call for end-uses for logs to balance out the wood supply. Both forests and the construction sector are also focal areas in climate change mitigation. Wooden multistorey construction (WMC) and its capability to store carbon has been suggested as a partial solution to the aforementioned issues. The aim of this study is to investigate the relation of WMC and the bioeconomy and the role of end-users in WMC. This explorative study uses qualitative research methods to address its research ques-tions. The data consists of seven focus group interviews conducted in the metropolitan area of Helsinki between September 2017 and February 2019. The interviewed groups, with altogether 26 participants, included an academic expert group, three market actor groups (firm representatives, architects and property managers) and three wooden multistorey resident groups. The residents’ type of housing included rental, owner-occupancy and right-of-occupancy and the buildings were built between 2015 and 2017. Thematization was used for data analysis. Results of the study show that despite Finland’s close-knit relation to its forests and traditions in utiliz-ing wood, WMC is not currently perceived culturally embedded as part of the society nor the construc-tion industry. WMC is still a niche in the country and it also seems more connected to mechanical wood industry than the construction industry. WMC was associated with the bioeconomy by non-resident groups, although experts recognized also potential pitfalls in the current discourse. Percep-tions that were aligned with the general discourse of the bioeconomy are mainly related to material renewability, possibilities to recycle wooden construction material, wood products capabilities to store carbon, and Finland’s relatively abundant forest resources. Despite WMC’s publicly declared role in the bioeconomy programmes, some underlying features make its rationale challenging for consumers, which could turn out to be a hindrance for WMC growth in the future. Generally, experts, firm represent-atives and architects were pro-wood and considered that WMC is still being unjustly stigmatized by various actors. In accordance with previous studies, the interviewed WMC residents were satisfied with their apart-ments and the building as such. A wooden frame does not seem to surpass traditional housing prefer-ences of consumers, but it is perceived as a benefit when choosing housing. Results of this study are much in line with previous findings, which indicate that environmental aspects matter, but not as much as health or other more personal aspects of living. Wood can be sensed in the building and apart-ments, which is perceived positively. However, the prevailing fire safety legislation, which was consid-ered as too strict, constrains the use of wood on visible surfaces in interiors. WMC seems to have an environmentally friendly image among residents, which however calls for better communication.
  • Häyrinen, Liina; Toppinen, Anne; Toivonen, Ritva (2020)
    Wood as a renewable construction material presents positive human health, well-being and sustainability-related features. Several studies have indicated its lower carbon footprint compared to the main alternative construction materials and its physiological and psychological characteristics have positive impacts on human health. The objective of this study is to investigate how young adults perceive the health, well-being and sustainability impacts of wooden interior materials. The findings from the four focus groups indicate that generally the image of wooden materials is positive although some concerns were identified. Further, wood as an interior material is perceived to have mainly positive psychological impacts on human health and well-being. From a sustainability perspective, participants recognized both negative and positive impacts of wooden materials mainly relating to environmental sustainability. Findings also revealed that although participants appreciate health and sustainability in the contexts of housing and particularly interior materials, still the materials' appearance and the financial situation of young participants' households dictate their criteria for choosing housing. The study results suggest that positive health impacts of wood, as well as its broader sustainability impacts, should be better acknowledged and promoted more broadly in society. This could result in greater appreciation towards wood and wooden materials among consumers.
  • Hellman, Carin Matilda Emelie; Katainen, Anu Hannele; Seppänen, Janne (2018)
    This study examines gender constructs in advertising in European beer commercials (N = 59). It employs a lens of “citizenship” for discerning techniques by which male and female realms are portrayed as nonrelated, competing, and of unequal worth. This lens provides an explanation for why the connotations are problematic from a public health perspective. The citizenship-related tensions that the commercials entailed concerned taking the lead versus being governed, being free versus being controlled, being seen as a threat versus being welcomed as a friend, and being worthy of solidarity versus being excluded from group bonding. The article argues that these tensions not only involve the ethical issue of encouraging the consumption of potentially harmful substances (alcohol) and reproducing repellent gender stereotypes. The controlling, moralizing, and dull female characters are construed as infringing on the knowledgeable, skillful, and free alcohol-consuming male citizens. Gender thus unfolds as a crucial dimension in the mediation of commercial views on the relationship between the consumer and the state in alcohol policy.
  • Repo, Juha Petteri; Anttonen, Markku Tapio; Mykkänen, Juri; Lammi, Minna Maaria (2018)
    The concept of circular economy has become a catchphrase for describing redesign of economies and industries towards better sustainability. The consideration of consumers holds a prominent role in the concept, yet consumers‟ concerns and hopes are not well accounted for. This article takes a forward-looking approach to the relationship between consumers and policies on circular economy. It analyses an extensive and systematically collected corpus of European citizen visions on desirable and sustainable futures from this perspective, and compares the outcomes to newly adopted circular economy policies in Europe. The article argues that European policies on circular economy should increasingly connect to energy and climate issues as well as social topics, if they are to build congruence between citizen and policy understandings, and thereby raise public acceptance for the concept.
  • Hyytiäinen, Johanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Since January 2018, all alcoholic beverages containing a maximum of 5.5% alcohol by volume (ABV) have been allowed to be sold in grocery stores in Finland due to the new Alcohol Act. Subsequently, 5.5% ABV wines entered the market in Finland in 2018. To examine both the demand and supply sides of low alcohol wines, this thesis presents results from an analysis of consumers’ stated preferences and retail store managers’ stated preferences. In particular, it aims to provide insights into consumers’ consumption habits, knowledge, and attitudes towards low alcohol (5.5% or less) wines, and retailers’ knowledge and preferences about the wine assortment and sales of low alcohol wines. In the literature review, I examine previous research about wine consumption in Finland and internationally, as well as wine research in the context of retailing. This thesis is based on a quantitative research. I conducted the consumer survey (N=183) and retail store manager survey (N=50) as online surveys during August-October 2019. The surveys included Likert-scale and yes/no questions, as well as open-ended questions and questions about sociodemographic factors. In particular, I examine how subjective wine knowledge and sociodemographic factors are related to consumers’ purchasing of low alcohol sparkling, red or white wines, and how wine knowledge and sociodemographic factors are related to consumers’ willingness to switch regular wines to low alcohol wines, and their perception of having enough knowledge and experience of low alcohol wines in order to try them. I also examine consumers’ perceptions related to low alcohol wines in general. In addition, I examine how retail store managers perceive consumers’ interest in low alcohol wines, and the legislation related to wines. The results suggest that older age is related to higher odds of purchasing low alcohol sparkling, red and white wines. The low alcohol sparkling wine buyer’s main profile characteristics are weighted towards older-age women, who have mid-income, high education and low subjective wine knowledge. The typical profile characteristics for those who perceive themselves to have enough knowledge about low alcohol wines in order to try them are weighted towards men who have mid-income, and high subjective wine knowledge. There appears to be general interest from the consumers’ side in switching to low alcohol wines if they found one that suits their preferences in a retail outlet. However, as the consumer’s subjective wine knowledge level increases, a consumer becomes less likely to be ready to switch to low alcohol wines. Consumers seem to indicate dissatisfaction with the current limited selection of low alcohol wines in grocery stores. On the other hand, retail store managers seem to think that the quantities of different low alcohol wines in the stores match well with consumer demand. Finally, the results indicate that majority of the store managers who answered the survey would also allow regular wines to be sold in grocery stores. Based on alcohol consumption statistics and the results of this thesis, low alcohol wines have not yet gained much popularity among consumers in Finland. This can partially be explained by the fact that beer has been the most popular alcoholic beverage in Finland for a long time, and its popularity has continued after stronger (5.5% ABV) beers entered grocery stores in 2018. In addition, the different taste of low alcohol wines compared to regular wines is seen as a reason why consumers do not prefer low alcohol wines. However, there exists a market potential for low alcohol wines in Finland. The majority of the consumers indicated that they are interested in trying low alcohol wines even though they have not tried them yet, and that they would be ready to switch to low alcohol wines if they found one that suits their preferences. Even though beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage in Finland, consumers prefer to drink wine with meals. Therefore, low alcohol wine could be a good choice for consumers to drink with meals.
  • Koomanova, Gulsana (Helsingfors universitet, 2012)
    The purpose of this research was to investigate the role of electronic word of mouth (eWOM) in shaping consumer attitudes towards various products and services with concentration on the consumer attitude change. eWOM has long been proven to play an important role in influencing consumer attitudes and has been researched from a variety of perspectives. This study attempts to look deeper into the process of consumer attitude change by applying as the central theory of the study the Elaboration Likelihood Model of Persuasion by Petty and Cacioppo. In the processes of examining the background academic and empirical research the Internet and Web 2.0 are closely depicted in order to understand how throughout the past centuries technology allowed the rise of various mediums where consumers can not only share their opinions online about products and services but also communicate with other consumers. Manuel Castel’s Internet Galaxy, Gildin’s, Carl and Noland’s, Hennig-Thurau, Gwinner, Walsh and Gremler’s researches on eWOM are the central works that helped to shape both the theoretical and empirical parts of this study. The mixed method approach was chosen as a research method for this study. An online survey was conducted via the platform and eight qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted. The results of the study show that central route queues as text quality and text argumentativeness are more prominent among the research subjects and the peripheral route queues: source credibility and source expertise did not show considerable significance. Also more experience and participation consumers have with user-rating websites and applications more inclined they are to elaborate on the central route cues and are more likely to search for opinions that they consider rational and credible. Also these respondents are less inclined to search for ratings that confirm their existing beliefs about products or services. Less experience/participation they have about eWOM more likely they are to search for reviews confirmatory to their own.