An Investigative Study into Consumer Attitudes and Behaviours Towards Ethical Food (2009)

Ethical Consumerism Dissertation – In recent years, environmental issues have received much attention, reflecting rising public concern and awareness of environmental problems. The issue of global warming and the negative impact it is having on the environment, such as rising sea levels and climate change are issues that have gained a considerable amount of attention in the last decade.

The media has contributed greatly to this increase in attention, affecting consumers and their awareness of environmental and ethical issues. As the subject is currently very topical and one that the author was concerned about, the author felt it would be interesting to explore an area in more depth. The concepts of green, environmental and ethical issues were addressed primarily to provide the basis of this study.

Existing literature on ethical consumerism was then reviewed in more detail to understand how these issues affect people and their shopping behaviour. The focus of the paper examined the subject of ethical food and in particular, what is understood as ethical food. Trends, theories and previous research were employed to build the argument. Since the late 1980’s, research and theories have been developed around the subject however as it is evolving with great momentum, the research quickly becomes dated, requiring new insights to be identified.

In particular, the author addressed the following research objectives to gain understanding of consumer awareness, attitudes and behaviour in relation to ethical food:

  • To understand people’s awareness and concern of green, environmental and ethical issues
  • To distinguish what people understand by the term “ethical food”
  • To ascertain whether or not people purchase ethical food
  • To gain an insight into peoples opinions towards ethical food
  • To identify what would encourage an increase in sales of ethical food

  • 10,000 words – 120 pages in length
  • Excellent use of literature
  • Good in depth analysis
  • Well written throughout
  • Ideal for business and marketing students
  • Includes questionnaire and interview transcripts

1 – Introduction
Focus of the Study
Objectives of the Study
Outline of Chapters

2 – Literature Review
Rise in Awareness of Environmental and Ethical Issues
The Effect on the Consumer
The Effect on Retailers and Manufacturers
Ethical Consumerism
How Much Are Consumers Willing to Pay
Price versus Quality
Barriers to Adoption
Ethical Food
Fair Trade
Locally Sourced Produce
Conflict of Interest
Implication for Further Research

3 – Methodology
Primary Research
Data Collection Methods
Target Population
Design of the Questionnaires
Distribution Method
Semi Structured Interviews
Ethical Considerations
Access and Informed Consent
Anonymity and Confidentiality

4 – Findings, analysis and Discussion
Questionnaire Analysis
Semi Structured Interview Analysis
Awareness and Concern
Understanding Ethical Food
Purchases of Ethical Food
Fair Trade
Locally Sourced Produce
Opinions towards Ethical Food
Quality versus Price
Packaging on Food
Conflict of Interest
Encouraging Sales of Ethical Food

5 – Conclusion
Awareness and Concern
Understanding the Term Ethical Food
Purchases of Ethical Food
Barriers to Adoption
Encouraging More Sales
The Issue of Packaging
Suggestions for Further Research
Limitations of the Study




Ethical Consumerism Dissertation - Ethical Food
Ethical Consumerism Dissertation

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