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Special Issue "Marketing of Sustainable Food and Drink"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Maurizio Canavari
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
Interests: marketing and innovation in agricultural and food value chains; behavioural economics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Martin Hingley
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Lincoln Business School, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK
Interests: marketing; retailing; supply chain
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Food and drink consumption is universal and something that concerns everyone. Food and drink consumption is a significant source of resource use and waste, and it represents one of the most prominent and structurally diverse (in terms of size and scale) industries in the world. Therefore, food consumption is an important area in which to intervene to improve sustainability. In developed countries, sustainable food consumption, often identified with organic and locally sourced foods and drinks, and concerns over food and packaging waste, are growing trends; additionally, the food industry is looking to sustainability as a possible differentiator that is able to attract consumers. However, sustainability of food production, distribution, and consumption is gaining relevance in emerging and developing countries as well. Further, the focus for sustainability has evolved from an initial emphasis on products and consumption to wider interconnected sustainability as it affects people, communities, and environments, and new technologies are driving the way that people order, access, and consume food and drink.

Research on consumer preferences for more sustainable food choices is of utmost importance to understand the main motivations and attitudes behind this trend and the resulting implications for value perception. On the supply side, agribusiness, food processing and foodservice, and food retail companies are developing new tools and making new sourcing commitments to convince consumers about their sustainability credentials, and research is needed to analyse the effects of such policies and market devices.

For this Special Issue, we welcome submissions linked to the Marketing of Sustainable Food and Drink, including any stage of the supply network in which sustainable food and drink practices can be implemented and value-enhanced through marketing strategies and actions. We also welcome contributions that consider the sustainability of people and communities in consideration of food and drink production, value adding, distribution, consumption (be it locally or globally), and all that connects people and markets in-between.

The Special Issue is aimed at publishing both empirical and theoretical papers from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, and especially welcomes interdisciplinary approaches and international perspectives.

Prof. Maurizio Canavari
Prof. Martin Hingley
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 1900 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

  • sustainable food and drink
  • marketing

Published Papers (22 papers)

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Research

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Article
Are Consumers’ Egg Preferences Influenced by Animal-Welfare Conditions and Environmental Impacts?
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6218; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226218 - 06 Nov 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1442
Abstract
We conducted a labelled discrete choice experiment (DCE) to assess consumers’ preferences and willingness to pay (WTP) for fresh hens’ eggs produced via different production systems (caged, barn, free range, or organic). We estimated purchase intentions and WTP for different possible reductions (0%, [...] Read more.
We conducted a labelled discrete choice experiment (DCE) to assess consumers’ preferences and willingness to pay (WTP) for fresh hens’ eggs produced via different production systems (caged, barn, free range, or organic). We estimated purchase intentions and WTP for different possible reductions (0%, 10%, 20%, and 30%) of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and water use in the egg production systems. Data were collected using an online open-ended questionnaire completed by a representative sample of 1045 Spanish egg consumers. The results of a random parameter logit (RPL) model showed heterogeneous preferences for different types of eggs with higher marginal utility and WTP for a production system ensuring higher animal welfare level, such as free-range eggs. However, consumers showed a lower preference for organic eggs at the actual market prices since they were unwilling to pay for this category of eggs. Moreover, there were positive marginal WTPs for reductions in GHG emissions and water use, but only for significant reductions (20% or 30%) with respect to the current situation. Potential buyers for free-range eggs were identified to be persons under 40 years old, persons with a monthly income of more than €1500, and persons who were pro-environment. Our findings provide producers, sellers and policy makers with useful information that may guide them in the development of successful communication and pricing strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing of Sustainable Food and Drink)
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Article
Making Food Rescue Your Business: Case Studies in Germany
Sustainability 2019, 11(18), 5101; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11185101 - 18 Sep 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1237
Abstract
Initiatives of the European Union in the context of food waste running governmental and nonprofit campaigns strive to reach waste reduction goals. The study investigated entrepreneurial business models in the arena of food waste in Germany with a multiple case study research approach. [...] Read more.
Initiatives of the European Union in the context of food waste running governmental and nonprofit campaigns strive to reach waste reduction goals. The study investigated entrepreneurial business models in the arena of food waste in Germany with a multiple case study research approach. Business entrepreneurs seek to reduce waste through its monetarization. After the initial identification of close to all current entrepreneurial businesses, ten entrepreneurs in retail, processing, and food service were interviewed to determine barriers and challenges to the models’ success and analyze their motivation to start these businesses. The most important barriers constituted logistical problems regarding supply as well as marketing; and the need for close collaboration with suppliers constituted another important challenge. Their motivations combine sustainability-oriented goals with a profit goal. To scale up, an increase in collaboration and data exchange is needed across the supply chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing of Sustainable Food and Drink)
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Article
Cow Milk versus Plant-Based Milk Substitutes: A Comparison of Product Image and Motivational Structure of Consumption
Sustainability 2019, 11(18), 5046; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11185046 - 16 Sep 2019
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 6553
Abstract
Cow milk is under increased scrutiny due to its environmental impact and ethical considerations concerning animal welfare. At the same time, a rising share of consumers is switching to plant-based milk substitutes (abbreviated “plant milk”). The objective of this study was (1) to [...] Read more.
Cow milk is under increased scrutiny due to its environmental impact and ethical considerations concerning animal welfare. At the same time, a rising share of consumers is switching to plant-based milk substitutes (abbreviated “plant milk”). The objective of this study was (1) to analyze the product image of plant milk and cow milk and (2) to compare the motivational structure behind the consumption of both product categories. For this purpose, a quantitative survey with Austrian consumers was carried out to analyze the product image of plant milk in comparison to cow milk (n = 1001). The product image analysis revealed that the product image of cow milk is still much better than that of plant milk. Amongst others, cow milk is considered to be healthier, more natural, and better for bones. Product image valuation was dependent on the (non-)consumption of plant milk. Plant milk consumers evaluated plant milk significantly better; they considered plant milk to be much better digestible and allergy-free. The qualitative study using means-end-chain analysis, with two sub-samples of interviewees (plant milk consumers, n = 30, and cow milk consumers, n = 30), identified different motives for the consumption of cow milk and plant milk. Motives that were only reported from cow milk consumers are the origin of milk and the support of small-scale dairy production of farmers. Motives of plant milk consumers were much more diverse and included animal welfare and sustainability aspects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing of Sustainable Food and Drink)
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Article
Is Agricultural Emissions Mitigation on the Menu for Tea Drinkers?
Sustainability 2019, 11(18), 4883; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11184883 - 06 Sep 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1261
Abstract
Consumers are increasingly concerned about the environmental and social impacts of their purchases. Prior research has assessed willingness to pay (WTP) for environmental and ethical attributes on foods and beverages such as locally grown, fairly traded, and organically produced. However, few studies have [...] Read more.
Consumers are increasingly concerned about the environmental and social impacts of their purchases. Prior research has assessed willingness to pay (WTP) for environmental and ethical attributes on foods and beverages such as locally grown, fairly traded, and organically produced. However, few studies have examined WTP for agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation, especially in the U.S. and to date, no prior study has examined how knowledge or concerns about climate change motivate WTP for climate-friendly products. The objective of this study was to estimate WTP for agricultural GHG mitigation and examine variability in WTP across consumer characteristics, climate change knowledge and risk perception. A sensory-grounded choice experiment and survey assessing climate change knowledge and risk perception was administrated to specialty food and beverage shoppers in the Midwest and Northeastern U.S. Male and lower-income participants, as well as those at the Midwestern study site were willing to pay a higher premium for agricultural GHG mitigation, relative to females, higher income participants, and those in the Northeastern U.S. Knowledge of climate change and level of concerns for the risks it poses were not significantly associated with increased WTP for agricultural GHG mitigation. This suggests that if consumer demand is going to play a role in driving agricultural GHG mitigation, motivations for such purchasing behavior must be more fully understood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing of Sustainable Food and Drink)
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Article
Comparing “Leaf-to-Root”, “Nose-to-Tail” and Other Efficient Food Utilization Options from a Consumer Perspective
Sustainability 2019, 11(17), 4779; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11174779 - 02 Sep 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1364
Abstract
The efficient use of natural raw materials is a key element of sustainable development and is also gaining importance in the food sector. Consumers are increasingly realizing that food is too valuable to be used only partially. However, consumer acceptance is an important [...] Read more.
The efficient use of natural raw materials is a key element of sustainable development and is also gaining importance in the food sector. Consumers are increasingly realizing that food is too valuable to be used only partially. However, consumer acceptance is an important precondition for establishing efficient food utilization options. A total of 470 German consumers were surveyed through an online-questionnaire where they had to evaluate three options each for the efficient use of plant-based foods as well as animal-based foods with respect to eight different criteria. The results show that the six options differed significantly regarding consumer acceptance. The efficient use of plant-based foods (especially non-standard fruits/vegetables and the “leaf-to-root” principle) was more accepted than the efficient utilization of animal-based foods. Furthermore, it can be seen that options using the by-products in a natural form were considered more acceptable than those which subject the by-products to some form of processing. These results provide an insight into the views of consumers on food waste reduction strategies, which are frequently debated in the sustainability discussion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing of Sustainable Food and Drink)
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Article
Factors Affecting the Dynamics of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Membership
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4170; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154170 - 02 Aug 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1615
Abstract
Community supported agriculture (CSA) serves as a platform for local producers, especially for small size farms, to sell fresh, local products directly to its members. CSA is an important approach to promote local economic growth and contribute to sustainable agriculture. Although CSA is [...] Read more.
Community supported agriculture (CSA) serves as a platform for local producers, especially for small size farms, to sell fresh, local products directly to its members. CSA is an important approach to promote local economic growth and contribute to sustainable agriculture. Although CSA is widely accepted across the United States, the total number of CSA membership is still very low. It is important to determine the factors that affect the future development of CSA because of its social and environmental benefits. In this study, we analyze how the motivation, barriers, and methods of advertisement influence the participation dynamics of CSA by segmenting consumers based on their past, current, and future CSA participation. Based on a national survey with 795 responses, the results show that the younger generation, high-income families, and people who support sustainable agriculture are more likely to renew their CSA subscription. CSA members are found to be very sensitive to the time of food distribution, the price of products, and the location of CSA farms. Moreover, the impacts of perceived barriers of CSA participation and advertisement method vary based on respondents’ membership status. This paper sheds light on factors that influence various consumer groups and offers a more dynamic analysis of CSA consumer behavior. This analysis enhances understanding of CSA members’ preferences and could help CSA programs expand in the future and to better promote local food systems and sustainable agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing of Sustainable Food and Drink)
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Article
Sustainability Matters: Consumer Acceptance of Different Vertical Farming Systems
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4052; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154052 - 26 Jul 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4883
Abstract
Fresh produce within vertical farming systems grows vertically in different layers stacked atop each other, thus allowing for the efficient use of space. As the environment in vertical farming systems is completely controlled, neither sunlight nor soil is necessary. On the one hand, [...] Read more.
Fresh produce within vertical farming systems grows vertically in different layers stacked atop each other, thus allowing for the efficient use of space. As the environment in vertical farming systems is completely controlled, neither sunlight nor soil is necessary. On the one hand, vertical farming may help to provide a healthy diet for the growing global population because it has a greater crop yield per square meter used than conventional farming; moreover, it can offer the opportunity to grow food in climatically disadvantaged areas. On the other hand, growth conditions may be perceived as unnatural and the entire vertical farming system as unsustainable. Therefore, understanding the consumers’ acceptance of vertical farming systems is important. This study is the first work to provide insights into consumers’ acceptance of three different vertical farming systems. Data are collected through an online survey of 482 consumers in Germany in February 2018. Drivers of consumer acceptance of vertical farming systems are identified through structural equation modelling. The results indicate that perceived sustainability is the major driver of consumer acceptance of vertical farming systems. The larger the system, the higher the likelihood that it will be considered as sustainable. Obviously, consumers perceive something like ecologies of scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing of Sustainable Food and Drink)
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Article
Animal Ethics and Eating Animals: Consumer Segmentation Based on Domain-Specific Values
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3907; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143907 - 18 Jul 2019
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3123
Abstract
For a sustainable diet, especially with regard to animal welfare, human health, and environmental issues, a significant reduction in the consumption of animal source foods is essential. The most frequently reported motivations for a meat-reduced or meat-free diet are ethical concerns about animal [...] Read more.
For a sustainable diet, especially with regard to animal welfare, human health, and environmental issues, a significant reduction in the consumption of animal source foods is essential. The most frequently reported motivations for a meat-reduced or meat-free diet are ethical concerns about animal welfare. This study realizes one of the first consumer segmentations in the context of the human–animal relationship based on domain-specific values; animal ethics. Such a consumer segmentation is relatively stable over time and encompasses the issue of the human–animal relationship in its entirety without limiting itself to a specific question. Based on a comprehensive consumer survey in Germany and by means of a three-step cluster analysis, five consumer segments characterized by different animal-ethical value profiles were defined. A subsequent analysis revealed a link between animal ethics and diet. As a key result, relationism as an animal-ethical position seems to play a key role in the choice of a sustainable diet. About a quarter of the population is characterized by a combination of animal welfare-oriented ethical positions with a clear rejection of relationism, i.e., they do not distinguish between farm animals and companion animals. This specific combination of animal-ethical values is associated with a significantly above-average proportion of flexitarians and vegetarians. Thus, the study contributes to a deeper understanding of existing animal-ethical values and their link to the choice of diet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing of Sustainable Food and Drink)
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Article
Consumers’ Willingness to Pay for Foods with Traceability Information: Ex-Ante Quality Assurance or Ex-Post Traceability?
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1464; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051464 - 09 Mar 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1861
Abstract
In this study, traceability in pork profile information with ex-ante quality assurance and ex-post traceability are constructed. Consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for traceability information is investigated in Wuxi, China, by combining the Multiple Price Lists method and the Becker–DeGroot–Marschak (BDM) experimental auction. [...] Read more.
In this study, traceability in pork profile information with ex-ante quality assurance and ex-post traceability are constructed. Consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for traceability information is investigated in Wuxi, China, by combining the Multiple Price Lists method and the Becker–DeGroot–Marschak (BDM) experimental auction. The main factors affecting consumers’ WTP are also analyzed using a Tobit model. The results demonstrate that consumers have higher WTP for ex-ante quality assurance than for ex-post traceability. The highest WTP is for the ex-ante quality assurance attribute of pork quality inspection. Consumers’ WTP for traceability information is influenced by their individual characteristics, including age, education and income, as well as their concern and satisfaction about food safety and confidence in food safety labeling. The contribution of this paper is that it improves the meaning of traceable food information attributes and measures the significance of attributes to consumers. Furthermore, this paper introduces a Becker–DeGroot–Marschak experimental auction method which amends the measurement deviation of hypothetical experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing of Sustainable Food and Drink)
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Article
How Product Attributes and Consumer Characteristics Influence the WTP, Resulting in a Higher Price Premium for Organic Wine
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1428; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051428 - 07 Mar 2019
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1700
Abstract
Sustainable production systems have become a relevant issue for consumers in the wine industry. Several studies have revealed that consumers are increasingly interested in organic wine and have attempted to estimate the price premium that consumers would have to pay for this ‘new’ [...] Read more.
Sustainable production systems have become a relevant issue for consumers in the wine industry. Several studies have revealed that consumers are increasingly interested in organic wine and have attempted to estimate the price premium that consumers would have to pay for this ‘new’ product. The aim of this paper is to assess the role of organic attributes in driving consumer choice, and how consumer socio-demographic characteristics influence the price premium for organic wine. An on-line survey was administrated among Italian wine consumers (N = 317) and an ordinal logistic regression model, based on cumulative probability distribution, was estimated. The results show important differences in the Willingness to Pay (WTP) between different market segments. Younger people have a more positive attitude towards wine with sustainable characteristics, and we found that consumers aged under 50 have a higher WTP. Price is another attribute that affects preferences for organic wine: consumers that state that price is a very important factor in the choice of a bottle are less willing to pay for organic wine. Consumers characterized by a low consumption frequency have a higher WTP for organic wine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing of Sustainable Food and Drink)
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Article
Measuring Consumer Preferences and Willingness to Pay for Coffee Certification Labels in Taiwan
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1297; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051297 - 01 Mar 2019
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2244
Abstract
Sustainability certification labels have become an important tool for aiding consumers in evaluating food safety, health concerns, and environmental friendliness. Few studies have explored the attributes of consumers’ environmental consciousnesses from the perspective of environmental concerns; hence, we focus on that lack. Our [...] Read more.
Sustainability certification labels have become an important tool for aiding consumers in evaluating food safety, health concerns, and environmental friendliness. Few studies have explored the attributes of consumers’ environmental consciousnesses from the perspective of environmental concerns; hence, we focus on that lack. Our study contributes to the need to better understand consumer attention to sustainability information when making coffee certification attribute choices. We aimed to explore the importance that consumers attach to coffee certification attributes paid to these attributes while choosing and to willingness to pay (WTP). There were 650 questionnaires completed by those who had purchased coffee beans habitually in Taiwan; after factoring out the invalid questionnaires (i.e., those with omitted answers, incomplete answers, or those in which answers to all the questions received the same scale points were all deemed as invalid and removed), 568 valid ones were collected with a recovery rate of 87.4%. The results indicate that the respondents’ WTP attributes ranked from highest to lowest are traceability, organic, graded, environmentally friendly, and fair-trade certifications. This study provides insights into how consumers’ preferences relate to selection of coffee certification attributes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing of Sustainable Food and Drink)
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Article
Innovation Trajectories and Sustainability in the Food System
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1271; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051271 - 28 Feb 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1591
Abstract
The goal of the study is to answer the question of whether the current processes of technological change and innovation within the agri-food system could help to increase its sustainability. Four strands of literature are used to unveil the nexus between sustainability and [...] Read more.
The goal of the study is to answer the question of whether the current processes of technological change and innovation within the agri-food system could help to increase its sustainability. Four strands of literature are used to unveil the nexus between sustainability and innovation: models of technical change and innovation, sustainability definitions, agroecology as a science and political movement, and the conceptualization of food regimes. The results indicate that innovation processes in the system follow two innovation trajectories, leading to two different food regimes, with opposite effects on sustainability. Since market forces push towards the less sustainable regime, adequate interventions are required in order to assure the sustainability of the system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing of Sustainable Food and Drink)
Article
Motivations and Actions to Prevent Food Waste among Young Italian Consumers
Sustainability 2019, 11(4), 1110; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11041110 - 20 Feb 2019
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 1982
Abstract
Food waste is a relevant global problem due to its consequences on food security, economy, and environmental sustainability. This study focuses, in detail, on finding the main motivation for food waste among the young and the principal actions to prevent it. The paper [...] Read more.
Food waste is a relevant global problem due to its consequences on food security, economy, and environmental sustainability. This study focuses, in detail, on finding the main motivation for food waste among the young and the principal actions to prevent it. The paper focuses on Italian reality, since Western countries are partly accountable for wasting large amounts of food. What is more, the focus has been shifted specifically on to the youths and young adults, as they are the portion of the population that are most inclined to waste food. Data were collected using a questionnaire survey performed on a sample of n = 904 Italian consumers. In line with previous research, the results of this study confirm that avoidable food waste comes from three main behavioural antecedents: over preparation, excessive purchase, and inappropriate conservation. The research shows that food waste cannot be reduced by just one-way from the consumers; rather, it goes both ways, between consumers and retailers. Therefore, only holding the consumers accountable and expecting them to solve it will not solve the problem of food waste; marketing and retailers should also consider ethics when it comes to food distribution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing of Sustainable Food and Drink)
Article
The Promising Effect of a Green Food Label in the New Online Market
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 796; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030796 - 02 Feb 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1886
Abstract
Although public interest in sustainable and safer products have steadily risen worldwide, research has shown a difference between consumer’s willingness to purchase, and actual purchasing behavior, for which two main explanations exist, including a lack of accessibility and a poor knowledge of related [...] Read more.
Although public interest in sustainable and safer products have steadily risen worldwide, research has shown a difference between consumer’s willingness to purchase, and actual purchasing behavior, for which two main explanations exist, including a lack of accessibility and a poor knowledge of related attributes. Fortunately, the emergence of online food markets may improve this situation through convenient accessibility to sustainable food and detailed description about sustainability labels. This research uses a hedonic price analysis to compare the price premiums for the sustainability attribute in Chinese online and offline markets, using edible oil as a case. The specific objective is to test the different values of a sustainable attribute, a green food label, in two types of markets. Results show that the green food attribute could gain a price premium in the online market but not in the offline market, indicating the importance of the online channel for sustainable food sale in China. A big price mechanism difference between online and offline markets is also found, with regard to attributes of production method, variety, place of origin, packaging, and discount. These results provide a guide for firms’ pricing strategies in online and offline markets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing of Sustainable Food and Drink)
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Article
Segmentation of Coffee Consumers Using Sustainable Values: Cluster Analysis on the Polish Coffee Market
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 613; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030613 - 24 Jan 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2761
Abstract
Producers and retailers are the driving force behind the adoption of the idea of sustainability. It has been found that while preparing their product range offer, many still pay attention to the same set of criteria: size of the customers’ earnings, how often [...] Read more.
Producers and retailers are the driving force behind the adoption of the idea of sustainability. It has been found that while preparing their product range offer, many still pay attention to the same set of criteria: size of the customers’ earnings, how often they shop, and how much they buy when shopping. In general, sustainable values applied by consumers in their purchasing decisions are rarely taken into account in consumer segmentation. The aim of this study is to recognize if values such as environmental protection, producers’ ethical behavior, fair trade or maximizing the utility function of consumption are important factors in the purchasing process of coffee and if they can be used as segmentation variables. The discussed findings come from a standardized online survey conducted on a sample of 800 Polish coffee consumers in July 2018. The obtained results are discussed by employing multi-dimensional analyses, such as exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and cluster analysis (CA). In consequence, six segments of coffee consumers are identified and described: “responsible, aspiring to be connoisseurs”, “loyal coffee enthusiasts”, “pragmatic users”, “coffee laypersons”, “sophisticated connoisseurs”, and “consumerists, connoisseurs, but not at any price”. Among the identified segments, the most often indicated sustainable consumption values refer to “responsible, aspiring to be connoisseurs”, and the least often to “consumerists, connoisseurs, but not at any price”. The conclusions may be used by manufacturing and trade enterprises operating in the coffee market to respond to the identified needs and expectations of consumers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing of Sustainable Food and Drink)
Article
Market Sustainability: A Globalization and Consumer Culture Perspective in the Chinese Retail Market
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 575; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030575 - 22 Jan 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3209
Abstract
Consumer behavior is becoming increasingly heterogeneous due to the changing culture patterns and effects of globalization. This phenomenon increases the importance of focusing on the social dimension of sustainability in a consumer market. This research contributes to the body of knowledge by emphasizing [...] Read more.
Consumer behavior is becoming increasingly heterogeneous due to the changing culture patterns and effects of globalization. This phenomenon increases the importance of focusing on the social dimension of sustainability in a consumer market. This research contributes to the body of knowledge by emphasizing the consequences of individual cultural values and individual materialistic values in the Chinese consumer market. In this endeavor, Hofstede’s framework of individual culture with materialistic effect is applied to understand consumer behavior in a processed food market. Rigorous research activity was conducted at the point of sale in different supermarkets to record the responses of random consumers. The results of multi-variate covariance-based structure equation modeling show that individual materialistic values have emerged as a key determinant, which reflects the individual culture for consumer buying behavior in a state of globalization. Power distance, long-term orientation, and uncertainty avoidance were found to be important measures of individual culture. The findings of the study are useful in assisting the industry for product launching and marketing strategies to achieve future sustainability in the processed food market. In the pursuit of a sustainable processed food market, the focus should shift toward individual cultural values away from national and group cultures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing of Sustainable Food and Drink)
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Article
Cause Related Marketing among Millennial Consumers: The Role of Trust and Loyalty in the Food Industry
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 535; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020535 - 20 Jan 2019
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 4917
Abstract
The current study investigates the willingness of Millennial consumers towards several corporate social responsibility initiatives carried out by food companies. More specifically, it explores four cause related marketing campaigns implemented by food companies to spread corporate social responsibility. The analysis was carried out [...] Read more.
The current study investigates the willingness of Millennial consumers towards several corporate social responsibility initiatives carried out by food companies. More specifically, it explores four cause related marketing campaigns implemented by food companies to spread corporate social responsibility. The analysis was carried out in Italy by administering a structured questionnaire to 308 consumers. The willingness of participants to switch a chocolate snack of their favourite brand to another with similar characteristics but produced by a company supporting different social and environmental causes was assessed in four different scenarios. The study uncovered the effects of both loyalty towards the brand and trust in cause related marketing on consumers’ willingness to support different corporate social responsibility initiatives. The findings unveiled the willingness of Millennials to support companies’ social and environmental initiatives. Both trust and loyalty played a key role in affecting consumers’ willingness to support corporate social responsibility initiatives of food companies. Social and environmental concerns as well as socio-demographics aspects are also significant in supporting cause related marketing campaigns. The study has shed light on the preference of consumers towards corporate social responsibility and cause related marketing. Specifically, it provides marketing insights on the initiatives most preferred by consumers to which companies should address their efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing of Sustainable Food and Drink)
Article
Consumer Preferences for Superfood Ingredients—the Case of Bread in Germany
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4667; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124667 - 07 Dec 2018
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2561
Abstract
Although there is no legal definition of the word ‘superfood’, in recent years exotic foods and ingredients have become popular in German food retailers. The aim of the study was to determine consumer preferences for superfood ingredients in different types of bread; to [...] Read more.
Although there is no legal definition of the word ‘superfood’, in recent years exotic foods and ingredients have become popular in German food retailers. The aim of the study was to determine consumer preferences for superfood ingredients in different types of bread; to accomplish this, a choice experiment was set up with a representative sample of 503 German consumers. Respondents had to choose between products with varying attributes such as type of bread, superfood ingredient, nutritional information, production method, durability, and price. The results indicate that consumers value bread that serves a functional purpose through superfood ingredients such as linseed or chia. Using latent class segmentation, the respondents were divided into four segments, of which three groups valued bread with superfood ingredients. All in all, the type of bread is the most important factor when choosing a bread. Further market research could take into account different types of superfoods (processed/unprocessed), as well as regional deviations in Germany and the EU member states to analyze differences regarding the market potential of staple foods such as bread that serve a functional purpose through superfood ingredients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing of Sustainable Food and Drink)
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Article
The Impact of Risk Perceptions of Food Ingredients on the Restaurant Industry: Focused on the Moderating Role of Corporate Social Responsibility
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3132; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093132 - 03 Sep 2018
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1730
Abstract
This study investigated the causal relationships between international tourists’ perceived sustainability of Jeju Island, South Korea and environmentally responsible behavior, revisit intention, and positive word-of-mouth communication. Perceived sustainability was employed as a multidimensional construct comprised of economic, cultural, and environmental aspects. Data were [...] Read more.
This study investigated the causal relationships between international tourists’ perceived sustainability of Jeju Island, South Korea and environmentally responsible behavior, revisit intention, and positive word-of-mouth communication. Perceived sustainability was employed as a multidimensional construct comprised of economic, cultural, and environmental aspects. Data were collected from international tourists that visited Jeju Island. The results indicated that environmentally responsible behavior was influenced positively by cultural sustainability, and negatively by environmental sustainability. Revisit intention and positive word-of-mouth communication were significantly affected by the three dimensions of sustainability. Based on the findings, associated implications were suggested for sustainable destination management of Jeju Island. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing of Sustainable Food and Drink)
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Article
A Social Norms Intervention Going Wrong: Boomerang Effects from Descriptive Norms Information
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2848; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082848 - 10 Aug 2018
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 4927
Abstract
A large body of research supports the idea of social norms communication promoting pro-social and pro-environmental behaviour. This paper investigates social norms communication in the field. Signs prompting consumers about sustainable seafood labels and informing them about other consumers’ sustainable choices were displayed [...] Read more.
A large body of research supports the idea of social norms communication promoting pro-social and pro-environmental behaviour. This paper investigates social norms communication in the field. Signs prompting consumers about sustainable seafood labels and informing them about other consumers’ sustainable choices were displayed in supermarkets in Norway and Germany. Seafood sales (sustainably labelled versus unlabelled products) were observed before, during, and after the implementation of the signs. The expected change towards more sustainable choices was generally not found. In Norway, the choice of sustainable seafood increased in the prompt-only condition, but the effect was neutralised when social norms information was added. In Germany, social norm messages lead to a decline in sustainable choices compared to baseline, a boomerang effect. Overall, an increase in the purchase of seafood (both sustainably labelled and unlabelled) was noted during the intervention. A second study was carried out to further explore the finding that consumers were mainly primed with “seafood” as a food group. In a laboratory setting, participants were confronted with stereotypical food pictures, combined with short sentences encouraging different consumption patterns. Subsequently, they were asked to choose food products in a virtual shop. Confirming the findings of Study 1, participants chose more of the groceries belonging to the food group they were primed with. These studies suggest that social norms interventions—recently often perceived as “the Holy Grail” for behaviour change—are not as universally applicable as suggested in the literature. According to this study, even descriptive norm messages can produce boomerang effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing of Sustainable Food and Drink)
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Article
Tasty or Sustainable? The Effect of Product Sensory Experience on a Sustainable New Food Product: An Application of Discrete Choice Experiments on Chianina Tinned Beef
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2795; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082795 - 07 Aug 2018
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2417
Abstract
This study aims to contribute to the existing literature by verifying whether the degree of liking of a new food product influences people’s preferences and willingness to pay from a discrete choice experiment when dealing with sustainable food products. To this purpose, we [...] Read more.
This study aims to contribute to the existing literature by verifying whether the degree of liking of a new food product influences people’s preferences and willingness to pay from a discrete choice experiment when dealing with sustainable food products. To this purpose, we considered the case study of the introduction into the Italian market of a new food product: tinned Chianina meat. Among the attributes considered for this new product, two in particular were related to sustainability: organic breeding and the preservation of a traditional rural landscape. Half of the respondents underwent a sensory test before taking part in the hypothetical market (discrete choice experiment), while the remaining were administered the tests in reverse order. Tasting the product before the discrete choice experiment did not produce different willingness to pay (WTP) parameters as estimated by a taste factor interaction. However, separating the respondents into those who liked or disliked the product in the tasting condition revealed differences in willingness to pay results. The preferences are different for more than 50% of the attributes considered, and the magnitude of this difference is quite relevant. The WTP for one well known and certified sustainability related attribute—organic breeding—was not affected by the liking, while, for the other—the preservation of a traditional rural landscape—the effect of liking decreases the WTP. As a consequence, we suggest that tasting and liking studies should be routinely coupled with discrete choice studies when analyzing the introduction of new food products, especially when considering sustainable attributes in the experimental design. In the case of organic products where the expectations about taste are higher, neglecting to consider their sensory perception, along with the other discrete choice experiment attributes, could seriously undermine their long lasting success on the market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing of Sustainable Food and Drink)
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Review

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Review
Sustainability in Alternative Food Networks: A Systematic Literature Review
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 859; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030859 - 07 Feb 2019
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 3813
Abstract
In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to individuals’ organizing themselves and managing food systems in an ‘alternative’ and more sustainable way. Such emerging food initiatives are most commonly known as ‘Alternative Food Networks’ (AFNs). However, there is an ongoing debate concerning [...] Read more.
In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to individuals’ organizing themselves and managing food systems in an ‘alternative’ and more sustainable way. Such emerging food initiatives are most commonly known as ‘Alternative Food Networks’ (AFNs). However, there is an ongoing debate concerning the extent to which AFNs facilitate social, economic and environmental change. There are criticisms of the overall sustainability promise of AFNs related to sufficiency of impact, possible counter effects and the relevance of impacts. Because empirical studies often only focus on specific sustainability issues or AFNs, it has been difficult to develop more robust theories about the relations between diverse AFNs arrangements and sustainability. Thus, the aim of this paper is to contribute towards reducing this knowledge gap through a systematic literature review on AFNs in relation to sustainability. We summarize main methodological approaches, the types of AFNs studied and sustainability dimensions addressed in literature to date. Findings serve as reference to propose opportunities for future research regarding sustainability in AFNs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing of Sustainable Food and Drink)
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