Towards Sustainable Food and Drink Choices among European Young Adults: Drivers, Barriers and Strategical Implications

Project owner

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

Project period

September 2018 - August 2021

Project summary

Most consumers claim to be willing to buy sustainable food products, however the share of responsibly produced food in total consumption has remained low. This attitude-behaviour gap can partially be explained by the individual consumer characteristics, which means that macro and structural factors of sustainable consumption tend to be ignored in the most studies. There is a need to consider a wider range of determinants of the sustainable food and drink choice.
To address this issue, SUSCHOICE has a two-fold purpose: (a) to identify the effects of different factors (macro, structural and individual) influencing consumers’ sustainable food and drink choices in five European countries and (b) to evaluate the public policy and marketing strategies for promoting sustainable food and drink consumption.
SUSCHOICE focuses on young adults as they represent the consumers of the future and influence food choices of both previous and future generations. The project will result in creating a new theoretical framework reflecting the complexity of sustainable consumption choices and provide new knowledge on sustainable food consumption in Europe, which is highly important for reaching the goal of turning the EU into a resource-efficient, green, and low-carbon economy.
Partners come from five countries (Italy, Germany, Norway, Romania and Sweden) representing different cultural and geographical contexts and food and drink styles.
SUSCHOICE will employ triangulation approach combining quantitative and qualitative methods (e.g. in-depth interviews, transnational surveys, discrete/structural choice models and scenario development) to provide a high credibility of the results. Multidisciplinary nature (combination of marketing, consumer sociology, environmental economics, innovation, entrepreneurship, regional policy, and rural economics) will allow analysing sustainable consumer behaviour in an integrated manner by using different theoretical perspectives.