The Danish fairtrade market: an empirical study of factors influencing the Fairtrade-buying intention of Danish consumers

Sharawoot Poomongkolchai

Student thesis: Master thesis


Despite increased sales and a positive attitude among Danish consumers. Fairtrade sales only represents one percent of all total grocery sales in Denmark. Thus, there are underlying factors that influence unexplained behavior by the average Danish consumers. We can potentially grow these markets by understanding and identifying these factors. This thesis aims to clarify the factors influencing the Danish consumers' buying intentions in relation to Fairtrade along with why a strategic decision by Fairtrade Mærket Danmark (FMD) can be made. By modifying the Theory of Planned Behavior framework with the results gathered from international studies on Fairtrade, a new model for Fairtrade buying intentions was developed. Both a qualitative research and a quantitative survey were conducted. The qualitative research was designed to pre-confirm my hypotheses, while the quantitative survey was designed to confirm the final hypotheses and the results of this study. An online survey consisting of 317 Danish consumers was conducted and PLS (Partial Least Square) was applied to verify the hypotheses. Results reveal that there are differences in how these factors influence buying intention among Fairtrade consumers and non-fairtrade consumers. Among Fairtrade consumers it was found that knowledge had the greatest impact on buying intention followed by concern, ethical obligation, self-identity, social norm and shopping inconvenient (as the only negatively influenced factor). The main recommendation of this consumer group to FMD is to adapt the communication to appeal to the consumers' fundamental values and to increase their knowledge. Unlike Fairtrade consumer ethical obligation was found to have the greatest impact among non-fairtrade consumers followed by concern, price and knowledge. Price was found to be the only factor that had a negative influence. One important recommendation of this group is to increase the effort at ethical obligation as this has the greatest impact on buying intention by appealing to these consumers' emotional and interpersonal aspects in which the consumer must be convinced about the premium price and concept. Based on the result FMD are achieving both strategic and management-related knowledge on how to respond towards the two consumer groups. Communication to each group should differ, being that they have different needs and behaviors in regards to Fairtrade consumption.

EducationsMSc in Economics and Marketing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2011
Number of pages153