"I Eat Organic and Local, When I Want To.": A Comparison of Danish Consumers' Attitudes and Behaviours towards Organic and Local Food in a Grocery Shopping Versus a Restaurant Context

Lea Lisberg Sivertsen & Nicola Dottorini

Student thesis: Master thesis


Organic and locally produced food consumption has been growing in popularity in the last decade, as consumers are becoming more conscious of what they eat, while being increasingly aware of their own environmental footprint. However, existing research yielded mixed findings on individuals’ rationales for consuming organic and local food, and little space is given to the comparison of their attitudes towards these kinds of food between a grocery shopping and a restaurant setting. The aim of this study is to delve deep into consumers’ attitudes and rationales for choosing organic and locally produced food. The goal is to determine which factors drive organic and local food choice, and which ones act as barriers and hinder it. Moreover, a comparison is made between grocery shopping and restaurant food choices, both at a general level and in the specific case of organic and local food. Research is based on interpretivist philosophy, using qualitative methods and combining both deductive and inductive elements. Data is collected utilising semi-structured interviews on a sample of 17 Danish consumers, evenly distributed across age and gender groups. Gathered data is then analysed through a thematic analysis. The key findings suggest that the factors driving consumers’ choices towards (or against) organic and local food consumption are indeed quite diverse and change between a restaurant and a grocery shopping context, as well as across different product categories and even across age groups. The overall conclusion is that in such diversity lies the key to effective communication and marketing efforts. Managerial implications for food manufacturers, retailers, hospitality entrepreneurs and public institutions are given based on such findings. The bottom line is that communication campaigns with the purpose of encouraging organic and local food choice should leverage specific values and benefits according to the target of such message and the underlying food consumption context.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2021
Number of pages123
SupervisorsMeike Janssen