The purpose of this thesis is to determine the vegetarian consumers’ complexity in their decision making process while buying food products. The focus lies particularly on these consumers’ perceived complexity including their basic need to avoid animal additives in edible products. With the use of the decision making process as the underlying model, analysis shows that these consumers’ need differentiate immensely from the general consumers, mainly due to their information seeking process. Moreover, the information they gather, is not easily retained. Two different types of research have been performed to illustrate the purpose; first an explorative focus group interview with seven respondents, to test whether problem of complexity among Danish vegetarians truly exists. The second research is based on an online e-survey where a total of 517 consumers, for different reasons, stated avoidance of animal additives. Among these a total of 142 vegetarians completed the questionnaire. Data is analysed by using SPSS by conducting frequency table, reliability analysis, factor analysis, t-tests and multiple regression. Results emphasize that even though vegetarians are very involved in their decision making, however their perceived risk is high. Every other vegetarian find it difficult to buy food products without animal additives. Their knowledge and involvement in buying food without these additives have a significantly negative impact on perceived complexity. Moreover, perceived time, to find the right product, does not have a negative impact. Furthermore, female vegetarians indicate higher level of complexity and insecurity than men and differences between vegetarian and vegan consumers also appeared in the analysis. This is indicated by the fact that vegetarians have less knowledge about animal additives and find it more complex to find the right products. This thesis provides a new view of Danish vegetarians and their buying behaviour in practical life. The outcome of this study suggests that the focus should not only be on vegetarians motives for buying food with animal free additives (per past studies) but also the complexity behind their decision making process. Understanding vegetarians’ complexity provides a better foundation for future studies and research, as there will be greater opportunity to accommodate their needs. The development of a vegetarian brand is at its initial stages, and can be researched with for example the use of eye-tracking method. The next step will therefore be to make a visualisation of a brand to make it easily recognizable. This will ease the complexity in vegetarians’ decision making.
|MSc in Economics and Marketing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
|Number of pages