Determination of actual & potential evolution of consumer buying behaviour
Recent scientific studies and information from major retail chains indicate that the self-reported attitudes and expectations of consumers towards foods (those expressed in quantitative questionnaire based surveys), may differ from their actual buying behaviour. It has been suggested, that this is because the actual differentials in cost do not match the perceived differentials in quality and safety. On the other hand, the example of baby food market (where up to 80% of the total retail sales is now “organic”) shows the great potential for expanding the market for organic and “low input” foods. However, little detailed information is available of the actual evolution of buying behaviour of consumers of organic and “low input” foods. There is also little quantitative knowledge about the effect of changes in knowledge and perceptions of quality and safety benefits on consumer decision-making. To address theses deficiencies we will perform the following studies (sub-workpackages):
WP1.2.1: Determination of actual consumer buying pattern behaviour through consumer choice tests and/or supermarket “loyalty card” based analyses
WP1.2.2: Determination of potential future trends in consumer buying behaviour through detailed semi-quantitative/structured consumer interviews (consumer narratives). This is also expected to allow the evolution of consumer buying behaviour to be correlated to changes in knowledge levels and perceptions of consumers about organic and “low input” foods.
WP1.2.3: Analysis of implications for future demand. Results primarily from WP1.2.1 and WP1.2.2, will be identified and analysed in order to predict the future evolution of demand in order that technological development and transfer are based on an accurate and realistic business plan.