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Sustainable food consumption: exploring the consumer 'attitude - behavioral intention' gap

Iris Vermeir (UGent) and Wim Verbeke (UGent)
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Abstract
Although public interest in sustainability increases and consumer attitudes are mainly positive, behavioral patterns are not univocally consistent with attitudes. This study investigates the presumed gap between favorable attitude towards sustainable behavior and behavioral intention to purchase sustainable food products. The impact of involvement, perceived availability, certainty, perceived consumer effectiveness (PCE), values, and social norms on consumers' attitudes and intentions towards sustainable food products is analyzed. The empirical research builds on it survey with a sample of 456 young consumers, using a questionnaire and an experimental design with manipulation of key constructs through showing advertisements for sustainable dairy. Involvement with sustainability, certainty, and PCE have it significant positive impact on attitude towards buying sustainable dairy products, which in turn correlates strongly with intention to buy. Low perceived availability of sustainable products explains why intentions to buy remain low, although attitudes might be positive. Oil the reverse side, experiencing social pressure from peers (social norm) explains intentions to buy, despite rather negative personal attitudes. This study shows that more sustainable and ethical food consumption can be stimulated through raising involvement, PCE, certainty, social norms, and perceived availability.
Keywords
attitude, consumer, behavior, food, sustainable consumption, PURCHASE BEHAVIOR, ETHICS, VALUES, DETERMINANTS, INVOLVEMENT, QUALITY, SAFETY, LABELS

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MLA
Vermeir, Iris, and Wim Verbeke. “Sustainable Food Consumption: Exploring the Consumer ‘Attitude - Behavioral Intention’ Gap.” JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL & ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS 19.2 (2006): 169–194. Print.
APA
Vermeir, Iris, & Verbeke, W. (2006). Sustainable food consumption: exploring the consumer “attitude - behavioral intention” gap. JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL & ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS, 19(2), 169–194.
Chicago author-date
Vermeir, Iris, and Wim Verbeke. 2006. “Sustainable Food Consumption: Exploring the Consumer ‘Attitude - Behavioral Intention’ Gap.” Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics 19 (2): 169–194.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Vermeir, Iris, and Wim Verbeke. 2006. “Sustainable Food Consumption: Exploring the Consumer ‘Attitude - Behavioral Intention’ Gap.” Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics 19 (2): 169–194.
Vancouver
1.
Vermeir I, Verbeke W. Sustainable food consumption: exploring the consumer “attitude - behavioral intention” gap. JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL & ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS. 2006;19(2):169–94.
IEEE
[1]
I. Vermeir and W. Verbeke, “Sustainable food consumption: exploring the consumer ‘attitude - behavioral intention’ gap,” JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL & ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 169–194, 2006.
@article{345179,
  abstract     = {Although public interest in sustainability increases and consumer attitudes are mainly positive, behavioral patterns are not univocally consistent with attitudes. This study investigates the presumed gap between favorable attitude towards sustainable behavior and behavioral intention to purchase sustainable food products. The impact of involvement, perceived availability, certainty, perceived consumer effectiveness (PCE), values, and social norms on consumers' attitudes and intentions towards sustainable food products is analyzed. The empirical research builds on it survey with a sample of 456 young consumers, using a questionnaire and an experimental design with manipulation of key constructs through showing advertisements for sustainable dairy. Involvement with sustainability, certainty, and PCE have it significant positive impact on attitude towards buying sustainable dairy products, which in turn correlates strongly with intention to buy. Low perceived availability of sustainable products explains why intentions to buy remain low, although attitudes might be positive. Oil the reverse side, experiencing social pressure from peers (social norm) explains intentions to buy, despite rather negative personal attitudes. This study shows that more sustainable and ethical food consumption can be stimulated through raising involvement, PCE, certainty, social norms, and perceived availability.},
  author       = {Vermeir, Iris and Verbeke, Wim},
  issn         = {1187-7863},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL & ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS},
  keywords     = {attitude,consumer,behavior,food,sustainable consumption,PURCHASE BEHAVIOR,ETHICS,VALUES,DETERMINANTS,INVOLVEMENT,QUALITY,SAFETY,LABELS},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {169--194},
  title        = {Sustainable food consumption: exploring the consumer 'attitude - behavioral intention' gap},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10806-005-5485-3},
  volume       = {19},
  year         = {2006},
}

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