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AN INVESTIGATION OF THE INFLUENCE OF ORGANIC CHICKEN MEAT IN THE CONSUMERS’ BUYING DECISION IN IRELAND
Consumers around the world have become more concerned about sustainability which has increased awareness among consumers. The reasons are that the sociological (culture, sub-culture, social class, etc) and psychological (needs, motivation, learning, attitudes, values, etc) components are involved in consumer perception. Besides, Kotler & Keller (2014) refer to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which is used to study how humans engage in behavioral motivation intrinsically, it is composed of five needs which are: physiological, safety, social, external and internal esteem, self-actualization. Thus, this means that in order for motivation to occur at the next level, each level must be satisfied within the individual themselves.
This study will observe with a particular focus on green marketing, the influence of customer purchasing behaviour related to environmental awareness and the eco-friendly attitude of the consumers gap presented in many recent studies (Auger and Devinny, 2007, Bray et al., 2011, Chen & Chai, 2011). Given that nowadays, there is a rising interest among consumers regarding the protection of the natural environment and they are changing their purchasing behaviour. Therefore, many firms have to indulge in green marketing to minimise waste and at the same time act in response to the increasing demand for eco-friendly products and services. Green marketing has become a new tool for organisations to satisfy the needs and wants of consumers.
Additionally, according to Food Safety Authority of Ireland (2019), the term used to describe agricultural produce without using manmade fertilizers and pesticides and without harming the environment is organic. Thus, the food products are fresh, hygienic and healthy. Besides, organic and non-organically produced food may seem quite similar, however, the process involved in their production can be very different. ‘Organic farming is an alternative food production method which prioritises sustainable production practices, respectful use of the countryside and concern for animal welfare’ (Bord Bia, 2019).
The aim of the research is to investigate the influence of consumer buying behaviour in Ireland in relation to organic chicken meat. This will be examined in order to understand consumers’ purchasing behaviour toward organic chicken, effective strategies and attract more people to consume organic chicken.
Organic food is the most successful product category within the growing ethical and sustainable products market (Olsen, Slotegraaf, and Chandukala, 2014). Thus, Akaichi, Glenk & Revoredo-Giha (2019) refers that ‘organic foods are competing with other ethical food products such as local foods, animal-friendly foods, healthier foods and free-from foods (e.g., dairy free, gluten free, nut free)’. On the other hand, non-organic and modern agricultural production such as healthiness of foods, animal wellbeing, have contributed to a significant increase in the production and the consumption of organic food product.
An important content to be considered is the fact that meat has been a scarce and highly valued food that provides many nutrients, a valuable source of energy, source of high-value biological proteins, amino acids and essential fatty acids ( G. Ripoll, P. Alberti and B. Panea (2015) Carreras, 2005). However, according to G. Ripoll, P. Alberti and B. Panea (2015) Verbeke (2000, 2001), poultry has become connected with products beneficial to health. Thus, chicken is considered healthier than red meat, the reason is that the lower levels of fat and cholesterol. Additionally, the research informs that chicken is low-priced, is often sold in convenience packs and has no religious restrictions in relation to consumption (Bilgili, 2002)
Even though, buyers’ choice of aliment is commanded by many factors, such as culture, health concern, religion, lifestyle, food trends, diet and knowledge. When there are animals involved in the process, ethical standards are involved throughout the breeding, growing and processing of the product (Erian & Phillips, 2017). Furthermore, the way that the consumers consider its buying choices impacts in the environment, which may positively affect not only in ecological food process but consumption too. From an environmental perspective, Padel & Foster (2005) cite that ‘organic foods are one of the most important healthy foods’. However, consumers are unaware of the large environmental impact of meat consumption (Hartmann & Siegrist, 2017). Thus, the study will aim to investigate the importance of the variables that affect the consumers’ buying in Ireland behaviour toward organic chicken. Also, examining consumers may identify animal welfare as far from optional and the relevance of organic sector.
Although some research in organic meat has largely been developed in Ireland, Asia, the Americas and Southern European countries. There are just few researches exploring the chicken meat niche, hence, much of the findings in recent literature may be considered relevant in a particular segment, geographical context and culture. Hence, acknowledge that there is a gap between consumer’s positive attitudes towards sustainability and their actual consumption behaviour (Auger and Devinny, 2007, Bray et al., 2011, Chen & Chai, 2011). They affirmed that researchers should attempt to elongate understanding of ways that buyers do not behave in accordance with their sustainability values. In this manner, by examining consumer perceptions of green marketing it may be feasible to investigate the perception that fill the gap between attitude and behaviour.
Delafrooz, Taleghani, Nouri (2014) as cited by Ottman and Peattie demand and attitudes for green products is likely to be uneven across market segments and cultures. Consequently, an evaluation research may be approached in order to understand the the perception of green marketing in the consume of organic chicken in Ireland. Thus, an examination of the literature revealed a gap between people’s positive attitudes towards sustainability and the consumption behaviour in green products/services (Auger and Devinny, 2007, Bray et al., 2011, Chen & Chai, 2011). Thus, the gap leads to question how consumers perceive green marketing and how effective are green marketing initiatives in altering consumer buying behaviour. Therefore, based on customers’ perception in Ireland of green marketing toward organic chicken, the research problem for this topic is as follows:
‘How has organic chicken affected the customers’ buying decision in Ireland?’
Additionally, as a personal reason to develop this research it is evaluate the author’s passion on green marketing and nutritional food. As a result, the author aims to develop its career in food marketing. Thus, it is crucial to enhance its learning in market intelligence, food, analysis, business strategies, characteristics of consumer marketing and surveys. Therefore, this research will involve factors to evaluate the author’s basic knowledge of a wide range of subjects.
To conclude, a research study about the consumer intention to purchase the organic chicken is important to be conducted. Due to the fact that, the study will approach a gap that are presented in many recent studies and also by the fact that it will be developed in a particular niche of meat, which is chicken. Therefore, environmental concern, nutritional value and organic certification are also used as determinants in the study.
Over the last few decades, some terms regarding recyclables, environmentally friendly consumer preferences, growing population and green packaging are seen as a green marketing definition. However, it is a much broader concept, which theoretically involves designing, developing and delivering products that cause as least possible harm to the environment and its stakeholders (Chitra, 2007).
Government of Ireland (2017) mentions that the organic sector in Ireland is still relatively small in relation to agriculture as a whole, however, there is one experiencing considerable growth. Additionally, ‘organic food may be imported into the EU from non-EU countries as long as they have been assessed to ensure the production standards and control systems are equivalent to those in the EU’ (Food Safety Authority of Ireland [FSAI], 2019). Thus, ethical products are available in Ireland market and may be introduced to the consumers. Therefore, the consumer preference is a key factor to increase the sector mentioned.
According to Ginsberg & Bloom (2004) a framework was constructed to determine which green marketing strategy matrix a company should use in order to differentiate their products. Therefore, thinking about the business in term of customer needs, some organisations recognized a need for a marketing proven to be most effective for sustainable business growth. However, the decline of precious natural resources has forced marketers to come out with a new marketing mix which preserves the green resources while at the same time bringing out value-added products and services to the consumers. This facet is considered very important due to global warming, ozone depletion, wearing out of natural resources and the need for safe and healthy products (Chita, 2007).
Hwang and Chung (2019) referred that buyers tend to perceive organic food as being healthier and more nutritious than conventional food due to it is naturally produced. Leading to more positive evaluations of organic food and more motivation to buy it. In addition, the link between organic foods and animal welfare and environmentalism impact in consumer reaction in relation to organic foods (Hjelmar, 2011). Thereby, green marketing has stemmed from the notion of ethical marketing and social responsibility. Thus, Polonsky (1994) mentioned to green marketing as activities which facilitates exchanges intended to fulfill human needs or wants with minimal harmful impact on the environment.
The purpose of this research are:
- To investigate the variables that affect the consumers’ buying in Ireland behaviour toward organic chicken;
- To provide a better understanding of organic producers or marketers in order to attract more people to consume organic chicken;
- To analyze effective strategies to encourage pro-environment behaviour.
The concept of consumers’ buying behaviour can be defined as (XXXX)
Initially, empirical research on green marketing (XXXXX), and in relation to consumers buying behaviour with ethics (XXXX)
Other researchers have studied organic food (XXX). More recently, the relationship between organic food and consumers’ buying behaviour which is the most beneficial to this study (XXX); and, organic chicken (XXX). Therefore, there was very little research on the concept of organic chicken and its influence on consumer buying behaviour.
In terms of methodology a valuable mixed methodologies studies will be considered, thus, this research will be carried out with two different methods quantitative and qualitative. Therefore, McKim (2017) cited the importance of understanding the perceived value of combining two distinct methodologies, especially given the added resources, time, and expertise required to conduct a mixed methods study.
Qualitative is a method used to discuss an issue in-depth with respondents and are useful for gaining insight into perceptions, attitudes and opinions. However, quantitative evaluates an extensive quantity of statistical data on a particular subject. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods in the same research endeavor, has motivated many scholars to explore different approach in relation to research design strategies and alternative theories to ground this new methodological movement assistant to help with data collection and data analysis (Ridenour and Newman, 2008).
According to (Tashakkori & Teddlie, 2003), there is a third methodological movement, which is mixed methods research. Thus, ‘Mixed methods research should be used when the research question suggests that combining quantitative and qualitative approaches is likely to provide superior research findings and outcomes’ (Powell et al., 2008).
This research will be led with mixed method research, which works with two different methods qualitative and quantitative. Thus, this design will drive this study to bring validate the data.
This study will ensure that the ethics sed is justified by weighing up the potential benefits and risks care and participation of research participation in order to lead the study effectively into consideration. Thus, the dissertation will follow the lead of research ethics procedure that is provided by It Sligo.
The interview will be consisted by confidentiality, care and protection of the participants, which only with full consent from the interviewed prior to the study. According to McKenna and Gray (2018) ‘Research ethics serves to protect the rights of participants and ensure they are not exposed to unnecessary harm, and ensure that methodological approaches are appropriate to the study aims’. Thus, the study will inform to all participants that the research is being conducted as a part of master’s degree thesis. Furthermore, the participation of the interview will be voluntary, as well as the participations will be aware of the purpose of the research.
As soon as the questions for the interview will be formulated some considerations may be avoid such as the use of offensive or discriminatory language. Besides, the author has not received any funding from the case company or any financial sources. Therefore, the study has met the criteria of ethical consent
It is planned to follow the timeline below:
1. Research article and books related to the topic.
1. meet the supervisor to discuss the topic;
1. Define the work methodology;
1. submit Chapter for review;
1. contact companies to ask for interview them:
1. Write down the finds survey:
1. Analysis of the focus group survey;
1. Last review and print the dissertation
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