Institute of

Market Analysis

Consumer Research

Product choice in store (© BLE, Bonn / Thomas Stephan)

„Pesticides in vegetables, antibiotics in animal husbandry – modern agriculture is only about quick profit!“ Many people completely reject modern production systems but do not reflect on the impact of their own consumption habits on exactly the same production methods. Instead, they call for stricter production requirements. How is industry and how are policymakers supposed to deal with this?

Which product to choose? (© BLE, Bonn / Dominic Menzler)

Many people are in favour of unspoiled nature and are critical about the results of today's production methods. However, with their price-oriented behaviour, consumers often support exactly those economic practices which, according to their attitutdes, immediately should be put an end to by policy makers.

We want to understand this behaviour scientifically by analysing perceptions, attitudes and judgements of different social groups with regard to agriculture, fisheries and forestry. We uncover revealed and hidden values and aim to better understand the interrelations between individual attitudes and specific behavioural patterns.

Important research questions are:

Pigs on a farm (© Thünen-Institut / Simon Küest)
  • What expectations do people have of fisheries, agriculture, forestry and their products?
  • Which trade-offs exist?
  • Which aspects are particularly important to them, which ones are less important, and how do people deal with conflicting goals?
  • What is the impact of information offered and how would people - as citizens and as consumers - like to be informed?
  • When and to what extent do customers align their consumption with their attitudes, when don’t they and what are the reasons for it?
  • What are the consequences for research, industry and policy makers
Pigs in clover (© BLE, Bonn / Dominic Menzler)

Our intention is to contribute to a more structured and constructive dialogue between producers and society in order to reduce the gap between social expectations and economic reality in agriculture, fisheries and forestry.