Visual Elements on Food Substitute Products' Packaging: Do they have an Influence on Flexitarians' Product Choices?

Katrine Kromann Hellesen & Marianne Kromann Hellesen

Studenteropgave: Kandidatafhandlinger


In recent years, concerns about climate change, animal welfare, and healthiness have created new lifestyle trends (Funch, 2017; Hesseldahl, 2016). Some consumers have become more aware of how their consumption choices impacts the society at large (Cherrier, 2009), why they have changed their consumption practices as their dietsto include less animal products(Schoon, 2015). The evolution of the flexitarian trend has created a whole new field of interest within marketing of food substitute products for producers, distributors, and marketers. Therefore, the aim of this thesis was to investigate the influence of visual elements on product packaging for flexitarians’ product preferences of substitute products. The problem statement was explored through an explorative, qualitative methodology. Firstly, focus group discussions were conducted, where the target group of young, urban flexitarians from the Copenhagen area, were introduced to specific substitute products. The participants were asked to discuss freely on the basis of semi-structured questions made beforehand, and questions emerging throughout the discussions. Secondly, a qualitative content analysis of the data set was performed, and discussion-points were retrieved from the data. From the content analysis and the discussion, general tendencies were found. First, the participants had a preference for products they found to have a visually attractive product design. Second, the participants were more willing to purchase a substitute product with a transparent packaging element, as they found these products more attractive. Third, they preferred products that were visually and communicatively similar to their animal product counterpart, as they found these more convenient to substitute into their daily practices. Fourth, a connection between perceived healthiness and visual elements was found. They particularly associated the Danish Ø-label, the Keyhole label, and products with a green packaging colour with healthy product choices. Fifth, the participants connected the flexitarian lifestyle with consuming responsibly, as they see it is a collective responsibility to preserve the environment. Sixth, they showed the importance of ethical marketing by preferring products with an image element, as they found it easier to assess whether there was a dissonance between the product and the marketing. Lastly, group dynamics were found to have an impact on the participants’ answers, as the participants were quick to agree with each other and to change their attention and perspective towards a product or topic, if one or more participants focused on these particular elements.

UddannelserCand.ling.merc Erhvervssprog og International Erhvervskommunikation (Interkulturel Marketing), (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling
Antal sider146
VejledereViktor Smith