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Ethical consumers: an exploratory investigation of the ethical food consumption behaviour of young adults in the North East of Scotland.

Oke, Adekunle; Ladas, Jasmina; Bailey, Moira

Authors

Adekunle Oke a.oke1@rgu.ac.uk

Jasmina Ladas

Moira Bailey



Abstract

This study aims to explore the motivation as well as barriers for ethical food consumption behaviour by focussing on the food consumption pattern of young adults in the North East of Scotland. Considering the recent involvement of young adults in environmental activism, consumption behaviour of young adults in the North East of Scotland, an oil-based community, presents essential research interest to understand whether young adults often contemplate the consequences of their lifestyle. Design/methodology/approach:- The authors explored the perceptions of ten purposive recruited young adults using semi-structured interviews to understand factors underpinning consumer's decision-making towards ethical food products. Findings:- The study reveals three key factors influencing ethical food consumption behaviour among young adults. The findings show that personal health and well-being are the main reasons why consumers engage in ethical food consumption. Also, it is observed that information facilitates decision-making by raising awareness regarding the social, environmental and health consequences of food production and consumption. Further, the findings show that situational attributes, such as product price and product availability, are creating dissonance when engaging in ethical food consumption. Originality/value:- This study contributes to sustainability research and the ongoing debate on consumerism by exploring ethical food consumption behaviour and highlights the need to address situational challenges, such as product price and availability. The study suggests that interventions to address current consumption patterns should also emphasise the social and personal benefits of food consumption rather than the environmental benefits that have been the focus of prior research.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal British food journal
Print ISSN 0007-070X
Electronic ISSN 1758-4108
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Institution Citation OKE, A., LADAS, J. and BAILEY, M. [2020]. Ethical consumers: an exploratory investigation of the ethical food consumption behaviour of young adults in the North East of Scotland. British food journal [online], EarlyCite. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-10-2019-0801
DOI https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-10-2019-0801
Keywords Buying behaviour; Cosumerism; Food consumption; Food products; Organic foods; Vegetarians

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