På vej mod en grønnere fremtid? En analyse af forbrugerens bæredygtige dagligvareindkøb

Anne-Katrine Dam & Martin Talarek

Student thesis: Master thesis


The topic this thesis addresses is the necessity of finding a sustainable path if we want to secure our future. We are focussing on consumption as a factor in the sustainable movement, and our goal is to reach an understanding of the underlying drivers/forces that determine, and also prevent, sustainable purchase. This study is based on a qualitative approach where we seek to dig deeper into the behaviour of individuals, not to state laws or causal contexts, but rather to gain an explorative view on the range of determinants that influence consumption. The findings will be used to present recommendations for the company, Coop, and their private label, Änglamark. Our focus is the point of sale; hereby we mean the arena where the decision of whether or not to buy sustainable, take place. We start by examining the social and psychological determinants that influence the consumer’s intention of buying sustainable products, and for that we make use of the theoretical models Theory of Planned Behavior and Means-End Chain (MEC). The first theory consists of six explanatory factors expected to influence the buying intention: attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control (PBC), emotions, values and personal norm. MEC deals with the abstraction levels on which there is a movement from product attributes to hidden values. We also wish to see how consumer policies affect consumption choices and thereby play a role in the sustainable development We apply three different qualitative techniques: expert interviews, in-depth interviews and an observation study, to explore and broaden the theory and the connections, which we will elaborate in our analysis. Our overall findings are that we see a pronounced potential for sustainable consumption but this potential is hampered by two barriers: higher price and lacking information (PBC). Through our analysis we attain a greater understanding of how the factors explained in our theory, influence the intention and behavior, and we find that highly affective determinants are weighed against the barriers. By optimizing these determinants (values, emotions and personal norm) through a company’s communication channels, we estimate that the barriers will be minimized reducing the gap between intention and actual behavior. We propose that Coop intensifies a value-based communication on new digital platforms using QR codes to invite the consumer into an Änglamark universe and in store activities such as information boards and new decorations/designs that attract the consumers and clarify the “natural connection” through the values explored in the developed MEC diagram. Finally we emphasize the importance of a holistic approach, where Coop incorporates a dedicated “all round” sustainable agenda at all levels.

EducationsMSc in Economics and Marketing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2011
Number of pages118