Advisor: Liisa Lätheenmäki
Understanding the Danish consumers’ intentions to the purchase of fair trade coffee
- and how to use it in marketing
Department of Marketing and Statistics
The Aarhus School of Business
The aim of this thesis is to examine which factors influence Danish consumers’ intentions to purchase fair trade coffee, and how the understanding of these factors can help the marketing of fair trade products in the Danish market.
The thesis consists of a theoretical foundation based on an existing theory and an empirical study of consumers’ intentions to purchase fair trade coffee. This is used to develop marketing tools in order to help increase the awareness of fair trade in the Danish consumer market. The theoretical part of the thesis is based on the Theory of Planned Behavior and previous studies in the field of ethical consumption, which are mostly in relation to fair trade consumption. The purpose of this thesis is to generate knowledge about the consumers’ intentions to purchase fair trade coffee through an understanding of the influences, which affect the consumers during the fair trade purchasing situation.
Our analysis shows that Danish consumers’ intentions to purchase fair trade coffee is influenced by the attitudes the consumers hold toward performing the action, the social pressure of a consumer’s environment, and last but not least the idea of being a morally concerned individual.
According to our study the intention of buying fair trade coffee is influenced by the factors “attitude to behaviour”, “subjective norm” and “moral self-identity”. The reasons for the increases in the three variables are determined by their underlying beliefs. A change in these beliefs would also be likely to cause a change in the variables. Therefore, it is also valuable to understand which beliefs form the basis for the variables that influence the intention to buy fair trade coffee. Advertisers and marketers of the fair trade organizations can use the found understanding of these beliefs in order to create a good marketing plan with the objective to increase awareness of fair trade coffee.
In this thesis we have used results from a conducted consumer survey and analyzed them in a marketing perspective, in order to create an optimal marketing plan for fair trade products in the Danish market. Our results showed that the Danish consumers are highly influenced by the moral aspect of consumption. Therefore, a marketing plan should be constructed to emphasize the emotional and self-expressive aspect of the purchase of fair trade coffee. A marketer can do this by using ads that display fair trade farmers and workers in the developing countries. Such advertisement could help increase the consumer’s awareness of what the fair trade label represents and thereby increase the consumer’s emotions towards the product, which in the end should result in a purchase.
The marketing implications of this research are that the marketers of fair trade have to communicate their ethical standards better and spread more information about the fair trade products and producers, in order to explain fully what they represent. Many consumers are sceptical and hesitant of the operations of relief organizations, like the fair trade organizations, and therefore the marketing of the fair trade labelled products should try...