Special Issue "Food Choice and Consumer Preferences"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Assoc. Prof. Djin Gie Liem
Website
Guest Editor
School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia
Interests: food choice; consumer perference; sensory marketing; children; nutrition
Ms. Davina Mann
Website
Guest Editor
School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia.
Interests: Sustainable food choice; consumer preference; healthy and sustainable eating patterns

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Consumers play a vital role in the success of sustainable food products and the health and sustainability of the food system. Although the availability of sustainable foods has increased over the past decade, it remains mostly unclear how to steer consumer towards making sustainable food choices and establish eating patterns consistent with a sustainable way of living. Food choice is determined by a wide variety of factors such as, availability, accessibility, beliefs, perceived barriers, perceived benefits and taste preferences. Understanding of these determinants in relation to sustainable foods and eating patterns is instrumental for marketers, product developers and those working in public health to increase the uptake of sustainable foods and sustainable eating patterns by a significant part of consumers.

The studies of this Special Issue are expected to address:

  • Identification of key belief structures which guide consumers’ sustainable food choice and behaviours
  • Sensory aspects of sustainable foods
  • Consumer segmentation
  • Consumer interventions aimed to increased consumers preference and buying behaviour towards sustainable food products

Dr. Djin Gie Liem
Ms. Davina Mann
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • consumers
  • marketing
  • sensory
  • behaviour
  • sustainability
  • eating patterns

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
The Effectiveness of Promotional Cues for Organic Products in the German Retail Market
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 6986; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11246986 - 07 Dec 2019
Abstract
The market for organic products is constantly growing, but successfully promoting them remains a controversial issue. Marketing research shows that organic products such as fruits and vegetables cannot be advertised effectively via monetary promotions (e.g., discounts); however, how promotional effectiveness is affected by [...] Read more.
The market for organic products is constantly growing, but successfully promoting them remains a controversial issue. Marketing research shows that organic products such as fruits and vegetables cannot be advertised effectively via monetary promotions (e.g., discounts); however, how promotional effectiveness is affected by other promotional actions (e.g., offering premiums instead of discounts) or the product type promoted (e.g., promoting hedonic products such as organic ice cream instead of utilitarian products) has not been empirically investigated to date. Through a study conducted with 487 German participants, we demonstrate that monetary promotion is less effective for organic than for conventional products. In contrast, non-monetary promotion (via offering increased content) enhances promotional effectiveness more for organic than for conventional products. Increased heuristic processing can explain these findings, as consumers focus more on the heuristic cues offered by non-monetary promotion when confronted with organic, and in particular hedonic organic, products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Consumer Preferences)
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Open AccessArticle
Consumer Habits of Local Food: Perspectives from Northern Sweden
Sustainability 2019, 11(23), 6715; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11236715 - 27 Nov 2019
Abstract
International studies are dealing with the promotion of sustainable food systems more frequently. Additionally, places of purchase and sharing in the choice of food to be consumed have become a network system for families. The aim of this work is to analyse the [...] Read more.
International studies are dealing with the promotion of sustainable food systems more frequently. Additionally, places of purchase and sharing in the choice of food to be consumed have become a network system for families. The aim of this work is to analyse the preferences of Swedish consumers for local/artisanal cheeses and the purchase motivations that guide their choices. We also studied the role played by consumers’ favourite shopping locations (retail store, hypermarket, city market, supply chain). On the one hand, we examined the attractiveness and the power exercised by the various stores and on the other hand, we viewed the consumer in relation to the frequency of purchase, and the confidence with the sales points. We interviewed 200 people in the city of Östersund, highlighting habits, consumption preferences and reasons for purchasing. A multiple correspondence analysis explores the reasons behind the purchase preferences of the local ‘Källarlagrad getost’ artisan cheese from the Slow Food brand. The representations of social network analysis are used to show the complex articulations that influence the choices of consumers in terms of type of cheese purchased/consumed and places of purchase/consumption. The results showed that Swedish consumers, in the purchase of cheeses, have a loyalty point at the point of sale, follow the advice of the seller and are attentive to the reputation of the product. Those who buy Källarlagrad getost are sensitive to safety, appreciate artisan cheeses and choose them for their versatility, have a strong connection with the territory and wish to contribute to supporting the local economy. Knowing these characteristics and preferences of Swedish consumers living in a city in the north of the country is important for marketing activities and for promoting tourism and sustainable gastronomy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Consumer Preferences)
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Open AccessArticle
Research on Food Behavior in Romania from the Perspective of Supporting Healthy Eating Habits
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5255; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195255 - 25 Sep 2019
Abstract
Today’s human society provides to food consumers many options that involve difficult decisions. Disoriented and stressed by contradictory messages of mass media and by the warnings of being as slim as possible, a modern consumer gets confused and shows a tendency towards losing [...] Read more.
Today’s human society provides to food consumers many options that involve difficult decisions. Disoriented and stressed by contradictory messages of mass media and by the warnings of being as slim as possible, a modern consumer gets confused and shows a tendency towards losing his traditional habits. Still, most experts suggest that the adoption of a healthy food behavior, based on minimally processed natural products, may contribute to the development of a sustainable food system. The study aims to design the food profile of Romanian consumers by presenting the underlying factors of a balanced diet. The conducted marketing study was of quantitative nature, in which, a face-to-face survey was used. The questionnaire was applied to individuals aged over 18 years old, and the tool used for collecting data was the structured questionnaire applied to a sample of 1185 Romanian respondents. In this study, the following methods of analysis were used: factor analysis, cluster analysis, and structural equation modeling. The research results present the main aspects underlying the food products classification, the clustering of Romanian consumers by their interest in healthy diet, and the relationships between specific variables influencing the healthy food habits. These results have shown the need for supporting educational campaigns targeted at Romanian consumers aimed to develop healthy food habits that could create conditions needed to reshape food supply, and implicitly, to contribute to the development of environmental sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Consumer Preferences)
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Open AccessArticle
A Survey to Discover Current Food Choice Behaviors
Sustainability 2019, 11(18), 5041; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11185041 - 15 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Food choices are complex functions of several elements that could change over time. Nowadays consumers appear careful about sustainable food consumption: the behavior of “food citizenship”, as the practice to support a sustainable food system during the consumption actions, arises. This study aims [...] Read more.
Food choices are complex functions of several elements that could change over time. Nowadays consumers appear careful about sustainable food consumption: the behavior of “food citizenship”, as the practice to support a sustainable food system during the consumption actions, arises. This study aims to recognize the existence of food choice behaviors in the contemporary scenario and to investigate the relation between the food choice factors and the behaviors recognized. Following a quantitative research method, a sample of 380 participants, recruited from a traditional Italian food and wine event, completed a questionnaire in order to detect their attitude about food. Four current food choice behaviors were recognized: The Individualist, The Foodie, The Environmentalist and The Health enthusiast. The relation between food choice factors and food choice behaviors was explained. Several stakeholders could benefit from the study results, in order to better understand how to adapt products and marketing strategies to satisfy the emerging customer’s needs and awareness. Even if a person can identify themselves within a single food choice behavior, they become aware of other choice models expanding their personal point of view. Finally, new research scenarios arose for the researchers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Consumer Preferences)
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Open AccessArticle
Identifying Drivers of Genetically Modified Seafood Demand: Evidence from a Choice Experiment
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3934; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143934 - 19 Jul 2019
Abstract
The aquaculture industry has expanded to fill the gap between plateauing wild seafood supply and growing consumer seafood demand. The use of genetic modification (GM) technology has been proposed to address sustainability concerns associated with current aquaculture practices, but GM seafood has proved [...] Read more.
The aquaculture industry has expanded to fill the gap between plateauing wild seafood supply and growing consumer seafood demand. The use of genetic modification (GM) technology has been proposed to address sustainability concerns associated with current aquaculture practices, but GM seafood has proved controversial among both industry stakeholders and producers, especially with forthcoming GM disclosure requirements for food products in the United States. We conduct a choice experiment eliciting willingness-to-pay for salmon fillets with varying characteristics, including GM technology and GM feed. We then develop a predictive model of consumer choice using LASSO (least absolute shrinkage and selection operator)-regularization applied to a mixed logit, incorporating risk perception, ambiguity preference, and other behavioral measures as potential predictors. Our findings show that health and environmental risk perceptions, confidence and concern about potential health and environmental risks, subjective knowledge, and ambiguity aversion in the domain of GM foods are all significant predictors of salmon fillet choice. These results have important implications for marketing of foods utilizing novel food technologies. In particular, people familiar with GM technology are more likely to be open to consuming GM seafood or GM-fed seafood, and effective information interventions for consumers will include details about health and environmental risks associated with GM seafood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Consumer Preferences)
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Open AccessArticle
Disgusting or Innovative-Consumer Willingness to Pay for Insect Based Burger Patties in Germany
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 1878; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11071878 - 28 Mar 2019
Abstract
Insects represent an excellent source of food due to their density in unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, while their production is associated with lower emissions of greenhouse gases and resource use as compared to other conventional protein sources. In most Western countries, [...] Read more.
Insects represent an excellent source of food due to their density in unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, while their production is associated with lower emissions of greenhouse gases and resource use as compared to other conventional protein sources. In most Western countries, the human consumption of insects is very low and often perceived as culturally inappropriate. In this study, we analyzed the preferences of German consumers for insect-based products to intensify the knowledge about specific consumer segments that are willing to adopt insects into their diet. For this purpose, an online based choice experiment was conducted in 2016, in which respondents chose between an ordinary burger and a burger with a beef burger patty fortified with insect flour. We detect three homogeneous consumer segments in our sample. The largest group of respondents is willing to consume insect-fortified burgers with only a small price discount, while the other respondents had a prohibitively low willingness-to-pay. The readiness of consumers to adopt insects into their diet is strongly related to attitudinal variables, such as preferences for an environmental friendly production method and health aspects. On the other hand, disgust and the aversion towards insects seem to be the main reasons to abstain from eating insects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Consumer Preferences)
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Open AccessArticle
What Determines the Purchase Intention of Liquid Milk during a Food Security Crisis? The Role of Perceived Trust, Knowledge, and Risk
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3722; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103722 - 16 Oct 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Until today, inadequate food supply, malnutrition, food adulteration, etc., are still the key concern in developing economies. In order to address these issues of food security crisis, and to stimulate a sustainable supply of liquid milk (LM), a consumer behavior model was created, [...] Read more.
Until today, inadequate food supply, malnutrition, food adulteration, etc., are still the key concern in developing economies. In order to address these issues of food security crisis, and to stimulate a sustainable supply of liquid milk (LM), a consumer behavior model was created, in which consumers’ perceived knowledge, trust and risk were the major catalysts. To shed light on this context, the study examined the effect of consumers’ perceived knowledge (PK) on their perceived risk (PR) and trust (in information sources and in the product). Further, the influence of consumers’ perceived knowledge, risk, and trust on their attitude and purchase intention (PI) were investigated via an exclusive survey design. The survey was conducted in the urban area of Dhaka and Chittagong, Bangladesh. The sample of 712 households was selected randomly and interviewed using a structured questionnaire. The data were analyzed employing descriptive statistics, exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, and structural equation modelling. The results show that during a food security crisis, consumers’ perceived knowledge amplifies their perceived risk and their trust in information sources (ISs). During such a period, their perceived knowledge does not induce purchase intention but trust in ISs does. Again, consumers’ perceived risk leads to reduced trust in products, and hence in LM, but not reduced trust in ISs. Moreover, a paradoxical influence was found, where consumers’ perceived risks had no significant effect on the PI, meaning that they underestimate the risk of purchasing LM. The results also show that when explaining the purchase intention of LM, the effect of ‘trust in ISs’ was higher than that of their perceived ‘trust in the product (LM)’ and perceived knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Consumer Preferences)
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