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Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 5944-5962; doi:10.3390/su7055944

Information Needs for a Purchase of Fairtrade Coffee

Department of Agricultural and Food Marketing, University of Kassel, Witzenhausen 37213, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 12 February 2015 / Revised: 20 April 2015 / Accepted: 22 April 2015 / Published: 13 May 2015
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Abstract

This research investigates what information German Fairtrade coffee consumers search for during pre-purchase information seeking and to what extent information is retrieved. Furthermore, the sequence of the information search as well as the degree of cognitive involvement is highlighted. The role of labeling, the importance of additional ethical information and its quality in terms of concreteness as well as the importance of product price and organic origin are addressed. A set of information relevant to Fairtrade consumers was tested by means of the Information Display Matrix (IDM) method with 389 Fairtrade consumers. Results show that prior to purchase, information on product packages plays an important role and is retrieved rather extensively, but search strategies that reduce the information processing effort are applied as well. Furthermore, general information is preferred over specific information. Results of two regression analyses indicate that purchase decisions are related to search behavior variables rather than to socio-demographic variables and purchase motives. In order to match product information with consumers’ needs, marketers should offer information that is reduced to the central aspects of Fairtrade. View Full-Text
Keywords: consumer behavior; decision making; heuristics; decision strategies; ethical consumerism; Information Display Matrix; Fairtrade consumer behavior; decision making; heuristics; decision strategies; ethical consumerism; Information Display Matrix; Fairtrade
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Schleenbecker, R.; Hamm, U. Information Needs for a Purchase of Fairtrade Coffee. Sustainability 2015, 7, 5944-5962.

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