I think green… therefore, i buy green?” How does environmental concern affect young consumers’ organic food product’s purchase behaviour?

  • Héloïse Valérie Enjalbert (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

Abstract

With the rise of environmental awareness, consumers tend to be more willing to purchase organic products. However, there is a discrepancy observed between consumers’ favourable attitude towards the environment and their actual green purchase behaviour. This gap is known as the “attitude-behaviour gap”. This dissertation aims to understand better the consumers barriers to buying organic food products even if they are environmentally aware and concerned consumers. Thus, this study research question is “How does environmental concern affect young consumers living in Portugal purchase behaviour of organic food products?”. This research attempts to fill the gap of research addressing these barriers to organic food products consumption in order to reduce the attitude-behaviour gap. The research aims to understand what are the barriers to consumer green purchasing when consumers are already environmentally concerned and financially capable of buying those products. The study uses a qualitative research methods approach, in a survey by interview strategy, in a mono-method data collection, with twelve individual semi-structured interviews to consumers living in Lisbon, between 18 and 35 years old, aware and interested in ecology, and financially capable of potentially purchasing green /organic products. Findings suggest that most consumers are willing to purchase organic products, but the attitudebehaviour gap remains, as most of the consumers explained actually not purchasing a lot or at all organic/green products organic, despite being very interested in the fight against climate change. Major barriers to organic food products purchase revealed were consumers not seeing the point in purchasing organic products compared to traditional ones, consumers thinking that organic products are greenwashing, or prices to organic products being judged too expensive by consumers. Consumers also behave differently regarding organic products depending on the food item itself. Consumers declared being willing to put extra effort and money for organic fruits and vegetables, or products coming from animals, but will not make an extra effort or pay for a premium price for simpler products, with a lower involvement as pasta and rice, as they do not judge purchasing those items in an organic version as relevant.
Date of Award8 Feb 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorPatrícia Tavares (Supervisor)

Keywords

  • Green purchase behaviour
  • Environmental awareness
  • Organic food purchase behaviour
  • Attitude-behaviour gap

Designation

  • Mestrado em Ciências da Comunicação

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