SUSTAINABLE FOOD CONSUMPTION, INVOLVEMENT AND KNOWLEDGE: AN APPLICATION OF THE THEORY OF PLANNED BEHAVIOUR pp. 87-103
Authors: Iris Vermeir, Hogeschool Ghent, Dep. of Business Administration and Public Management, Ghent Univ., Dep. of Marketing, Belgium
Abstract: A substantial number of studies show that consumers value the sustainable aspect in a product and that there is a willingness to pay for sustainable products. However, consumers’ behavioural intention in the marketplace is not consistent with their reported attitude towards products with a sustainable dimension. Following the theory of planned behaviour, this study attempts to account for variables which are assumed to have an impact on sustainable consumption. More specifically, we examined if the determinants for purchase intentions according to the theory of planned behaviour are significant according to different levels of individual characteristics. The empirical research builds on a survey with a sample of 414 young consumers, using a questionnaire and an experimental design with manipulation of key constructs through showing advertisements for sustainable dairy. The multiple regression analysis showed that 38% of the variance in intention to consume or purchase sustainable dairy was explained by the combination of attitudes, perceived social influences, perceived consumer effectiveness and perceived availability. In addition, different levels of involvement and knowledge entail different strengths of the determinants. The findings yield public policy and marketing recommendations for stimulating sustainable food consumption among the young.