Special Issue "Sustainable Food Consumption Practices: Insights into Consumer Experience"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Giuseppina Migliore
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural, Food and Forest Sciences, University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, 13—Ed. 4, 90128, Palermo, Italy
Interests: consumer studies, alternative food network, local food consumption, sustainable food consumption

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

It is my pleasure to extend this invitation to potentially interested researchers in the field of sustainable consumption. In recent years, the increasing consumer concern towards food safety, environmental sustainability and social justice issues have stimulated new consumption practices more oriented towards social, economic and environmental sustainability (Migliore et al., 2015; Graziano and Forno, 2012).

These include the growing consumers' preferences towards organic food, local food, and other sustainable foods and beverages consumption (Galati et al., 2019; Feldmann and Hamm, 2015), as well as the spread of alternative distribution chains, which emphasize the short-distance transportation of food and the direct relationship between consumers and producers (Hashem et al., 2018).

In addition, these sustainable consumption practices seem also to involve tourist destination choices (Cucculelli and Goffi, 2016), rural tourism and gastronomy interest (Green and Dougherty, 2008).

This Special Issue aims to contribute to the literature on sustainable consumption practices by enriching discussions on consumers experiences and by emphasizing the motivational and demographic factors as well as the cultural and situational factors that guide consumer behaviour towards these practices.

Dr. Giuseppina Migliore
Guest Editor

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 1700 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

  • Local food
  • Organic food
  • Sustainable food and beverages
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Rural tourism
  • Alternative food networks
  • Consumer behaviour.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Determinants of Consumers’ Retention and Subjective Well-Being: A Sustainable Farmers’ Market Perspective
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6412; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226412 - 14 Nov 2019
Abstract
Farmers’ markets have received much attention in many countries, and the amount of research on farmers’ markets is gradually increasing. The consumption process of consumers at farmers’ markets include both economic and social aspects, but most past studies have only focused on a [...] Read more.
Farmers’ markets have received much attention in many countries, and the amount of research on farmers’ markets is gradually increasing. The consumption process of consumers at farmers’ markets include both economic and social aspects, but most past studies have only focused on a single aspect. The economic perspective mainly focuses on transaction issues such as purchase motives, quality, satisfaction, purchase behavior, and post-purchase behavior, whereas the social perspective focuses on the social relations and psychological feelings created when consumers go to markets. This study aimed to integrate the economic and social perspectives and analyze the relationships among product performance evaluation, relational capital, repurchase intention, and subjective well-being of consumers at farmers’ markets after their purchase experiences. I chose three recurrent farmers’ markets in Taiwan, obtained 358 valid samples, and performed structural equation modelling analysis. The results indicated that the economic product performance exerted a significant and positive influence on repurchase intention, but its influence on subjective well-being was not significant. In contrast, the social relational capital was found to be a positive and significant factor of both repurchase intention and subjective well-being. On the whole, relational capital is more important than product performance. The suggestions for practice were as follows. First, farmers’ markets have economic and social value and are thus worth being promoted by government agencies. Second, the managers of farmers’ markets should implement a set of management mechanisms to ensure product performance and also create a market atmosphere that facilitates social interactions between farmers and consumers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Process of Ethnocentralizing the Concept of Ecological Agroalimentary Products for the Romanian Urban Consumer
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6226; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226226 - 07 Nov 2019
Abstract
In the case of the Romanian urban consumer, ecological agroalimentary products do not merely operate on the discursive line mapped by the rules of certification. The ecology of the agroalimentary products is reinterpreted and, thus, an interesting phenomenon occurs. The products perceived as [...] Read more.
In the case of the Romanian urban consumer, ecological agroalimentary products do not merely operate on the discursive line mapped by the rules of certification. The ecology of the agroalimentary products is reinterpreted and, thus, an interesting phenomenon occurs. The products perceived as natural, local, or peasant are seen as ecological enough to influence the purchase decision. Hence, according to the Romanian urban consumer, the ecological product stands for a symbolic projection provided by their own experience and trust level as a consumer. In the present paper, we aimed to go beyond the theory claiming that such behavior is determined by confusion in the social action of purchase and, following this line of interpretation, we also intended to identify the symbolic systems and hermeneutical criteria by which the Romanian urban consumer makes a social projection of ecological agroalimentary products through certain ethnocentralizing mechanisms. Our research paper was based on a qualitative and quantitative anthropological analysis that had, as a starting point, a questionnaire applied online (with a total of 1792 respondents, out of which 1342 were urban respondents). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Important Influencing and Decision Factors in Organic Food Purchasing in Hungary
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6075; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216075 - 01 Nov 2019
Abstract
Organic farming is one of the most developed and accepted production systems from the aspect of sustainability. In this study, the Hungarian organic market was segmented on the basis of attitude-relating motivations of organic food purchasing. A descriptive statistic was used for the [...] Read more.
Organic farming is one of the most developed and accepted production systems from the aspect of sustainability. In this study, the Hungarian organic market was segmented on the basis of attitude-relating motivations of organic food purchasing. A descriptive statistic was used for the whole sample, and factor and cluster analysis was applied to segment the organic consumers. A sample of 247 questionnaires was processed to investigate the behavior and characteristics of Hungarian organic food consumers. Our aim was to explore the Hungarian organic consumer market from the aspect of trust in labels, we would like to find answers to the questions “Which kind of information consumers check on the product?” and “What are the main influencing factors of purchase decisions?”. According to our research, the majority of organic food consumers say that color is not as important as taste or freshness, so they do not associate the color of the product with the freshness of the product. Based on the factor analysis, four clusters could be separated that show different shopping motives and differ in their attitude towards food shopping. We named these clusters: Health-conscious, Disappointed, Safe and free food eaters, and Quality-price comparators. Based on the recognized consumer segments, different information should be communicated to consumers so that they can use it in their consumer decisions. Our research suggests that branding or product labeling is not as important to organic food consumers as we previously thought. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Culinary Tourism Experiences in Agri-Tourism Destinations and Sustainable Consumption—Understanding Italian Tourists’ Motivations
Sustainability 2019, 11(17), 4588; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11174588 - 23 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Culinary tourism represents an emerging component of the tourism industry and encompasses all the traditional values associated with the new trends in tourism: respect for culture and tradition, authenticity and sustainability. Italy is known worldwide for the richness and variety of its gastronomy, [...] Read more.
Culinary tourism represents an emerging component of the tourism industry and encompasses all the traditional values associated with the new trends in tourism: respect for culture and tradition, authenticity and sustainability. Italy is known worldwide for the richness and variety of its gastronomy, and agri-tourism represents one of the most important places where culinary tourists can experience local food and beverages. By using a modified version of Kim and Eves’ motivational scale, the present study aims to investigate which motivational factors affect the frequency of culinary tourists to experience local food and beverages in agri-tourism destinations. The findings of the present study reveal that the social and environmental sustainability, among the other motivations, has shown to play a crucial role in influencing Italian tourists’ frequency to experience local food and beverage in agri-tourism destinations. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Understanding Attitudes towards Reducing Meat Consumption for Environmental Reasons. A Qualitative Synthesis Review
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6295; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226295 - 08 Nov 2019
Abstract
Meat-based diets are the norm in Western societies. This is a problem because meat production is a major contributor to global warming and environmental degradation. Despite the urgency to reduce meat consumption, quantitative studies have shown that there is only a small minority [...] Read more.
Meat-based diets are the norm in Western societies. This is a problem because meat production is a major contributor to global warming and environmental degradation. Despite the urgency to reduce meat consumption, quantitative studies have shown that there is only a small minority of consumers aware of the meat environmental impact, willing to halt or reduce meat intake for ecological reasons, or who have already stopped or reduced meat consumption because of environmental concerns. We conducted a qualitative synthesis reviewing studies that looked at attitudes towards changing meat consumption. Our focus was on the behavioral change process: Awareness, willingness, and change, aiming to enhance the current understanding of people’s attitudes towards reducing meat consumption due to environmental concerns. The studies reviewed show that consumer awareness is hindered by beliefs about food, meat, and personal behavior. Nutrition, health, and taste were found to be both enablers and barriers with regard to willingness. Vegetarians and vegans perceive the environment as simply another reason, among others, to maintain a meatless diet. Based on these results, we offer recommendations for future dietary public health interventions, and for future research endeavors on this topic. This review employed a meta-aggregative approach and partially followed the Joanna Briggs Institute methodology for systematic reviews of qualitative evidence. Full article
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