Chinese Consumer Behaviour of Ecological Food Products

Mari Steensland Erdal & Natalia Angela Gibson

Student thesis: Master thesis


Due to the increased urbanization in China, the lifestyle among Chinese consumers is changing. The awareness of food safety has spread due to repeated food scandals and health issues, which has led to a continuously increased purchase of ecological food products. This study examines why and how several factors affects this change, through reviewing demographic development, culture, motivational aspects and e-commerce. As previous literature on the topic has a main focus on Western cultures, the study develops a framework that is applicable in East Asian cultures, due to the differences between a collectivist and individualist value system. Furthermore, the question of research is approached by conducting semistructured interviews with Chinese exchange students living in Denmark, which is triangulated with appropriate secondary literature. The study uncovers the crucial importance of health, subjective norm and trust, as well as the positive influence of e-commerce. Moreover, the combination of these factors explains the increase of cross-border e-commerce, which can upturn the opportunities for companies located outside of China. Ultimately, this study provides business practitioners within the food industry, especially those coming from Western countries, with valuable insight that can help them adapt to the Chinese consumers.

EducationsMSc in International Business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages177