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Open AccessArticle

Food Purchasing Decisions and Environmental Ideology: An Exploratory Survey of UK Shoppers

1
Food and Nutrition Group, Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield S1 1WB, UK
2
Human Nutrition Unit, Medical School, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2RX, UK
3
Environmental Psychology Research Group, School of Psychology, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH, UK
4
Corporate Information and Computing Services, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2FN, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6279; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226279
Received: 4 October 2019 / Revised: 31 October 2019 / Accepted: 4 November 2019 / Published: 8 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systems Approaches to Complex and Sustainable Food Systems)
Environmentally and ethically conscious food purchasing has traction with British consumers. We examined how broad environmental worldviews related to shoppers’ ratings of the importance of various shopping criteria, including recognition of eco-labels, by surveying 502 shoppers from the city of Sheffield, England. Environmental worldviews were measured using the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) scale. Responses to the scale split into two dimensions reflecting the scale’s origins: the Dominant Social Paradigm (DSP) and NEP subscales. Subscription to the NEP (ecocentric values) was associated with greater importance ratings of nutrition & health, animal welfare, the environment, Fairtrade, seasonal, local and organic criteria. Subscription to the DSP (anthropocentric values) was associated with greater importance ratings of quality, taste, safety, price and convenience criteria. Notably, subscription to DSP values was the only predictor of eco-label recognition score in a multivariate model. These results indicate that the NEP scale should be considered as two subscales. The results suggest that campaigns to increase consumers’ environmental awareness in order to encourage environmentally driven food shopping are likely to motivate only consumers disenchanted with technological and anthropocentric development. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental worldviews; New Ecological Paradigm; eco-labels; shopping decisions; Dominant Social Paradigm environmental worldviews; New Ecological Paradigm; eco-labels; shopping decisions; Dominant Social Paradigm
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Barker, M.E.; Wong, F.; Jones, C.R.; Russell, J.M. Food Purchasing Decisions and Environmental Ideology: An Exploratory Survey of UK Shoppers. Sustainability 2019, 11, 6279.

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