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12.03.2020 | Originalbeitrag / Original article Open Access

Purchasing unpackaged food products

An empirical analysis of personal norms and contextual barriers

Zeitschrift:
Sustainability Management Forum | NachhaltigkeitsManagementForum
Autoren:
Gesa Henriette Marken, Jacob Hörisch

Abstract

The food industry causes substantial environmental pressure through generating an increasing amount of plastic waste. This research deals with stores which address this issue, by offering unpackaged food products. As such concepts depend on the support of consumers, a quantitative survey among consumers is conducted. Building on norm activation theory, this paper investigates which individual factors support packaging free purchasing and what barriers hinder consumers to purchase unpackaged food products. Additionally, it is tested whether the perception of barriers towards purchasing unpackaged food products mediates the influence of pro-environmental personal norms on purchasing unpackaged food products. The main barriers identified include a lack of awareness of unpackaged food offerings as well as the restricted range of available unpackaged products. Additionally, the results show that pro-environmental personal norms foster purchasing of unpackaged food. However, this influence is not mediated by the perception of barriers towards purchasing unpackaged food products. Based on these findings, possible interventions are identified, such as in-store marketing, which increase the awareness about unpackaged food offerings, or educational campaigns, which sensitize consumers for the consequences of plastic waste.

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