SUSDIET Understanding consumer behaviour to
encourage a (more) sustainable food choice
There is a broad agreement on the need to identify and facilitate the adoption of more sustainable diets in Europe. However, controversy remains over the sustainability of alternatives diets as well as over ways to enhance sustainable consumption patterns among people.
The project aims at defining the dietary targets to be promoted to European consumers. Combining surveys, experiments and economic modeling, the project aims to identify the factors preventing consumers from making sustainable dietary choices, as well as factors influencing the acceptability and the willingness to pay (WTP) for more sustainable foods. The project will analyse the impacts of policy instruments on the adoption of sustainable diets, such as supporting informed consumer choices or changing the market environment.
The Thünen Institute of Market Analysis aims to identify promising ways of communicating carbon footprints (CFP) to consumers and to detect reasons for diverging attitude and behavior with regard to healthy and sustainable diets and particularly CFP.
Starting point is a sound literature review on consumer preferences and choices on sustainable food with the emphasis on carbon footprint labeling. Internationally existing carbon footprint labeling schemes will be analysed with the aim of identifying success factors and barriers. Web-based surveys will be conducted in six European countries (DE, ES, FR, IT, NO, UK). By means of Choice Experiments different forms of carbon footprint labeling will be tested against each other and against other sustainability labels in order to identify consumer preferences. A questionnaire will accompany the choice experiments and will elicit consumers’ attitudes with particular emphasis on the role of time preference and uncertainty (risk) and their impact on choice behavior. In a follow-up research step qualitative in-depth interviews with consumers in Germany, France and UK will render a better understanding the underlying drivers of consumer behavior in the experiment and in reality.
1. Online survey in 6 countries with
2. Qualitative in-depth interviews
Short summary of the results of all research steps:
Interest in CO2-labels:
Motives for acting climate-friendly:
Activities to tackle climate change:
Responsibility to taking actions against climate change:
More detailed results of the choice experiments:
The results will feed into other work packages and tasks of the transnational project. The results of different tasks and questions with regard to consumers’ attitudes and preferences on sustainable food worked on by different partners will be merged in order to map consumer preferences at a transnational level.
4.2014 - 9.2017
Project funding number: 2814ERA03B
Funding program: EU – ERA-NET SUSFOOD
Project status: finished