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Research in Hospitality Management

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Key values of Chinese consumers buying sustainable goods: the case of Green Food in Fuzhou

Jan Arend Schulp, Elena Cavagnaro, Hanqing Lin

Abstract


This research identifies the key individual values guiding the choice of Chinese customers for Green Food. The work builds on literature on sustainable consumption and the role of values in explaining consumers’ buying behaviour. A questionnaire on values and buying behaviour was administered to customers who buy Green Food in Fuzhou, China. The results indicated that the well-being and health of the respondents and their closest relations were the most important reasons for buying Green Food. Concern for the planet and intergenerational solidarity was less important for most respondents. Lifestyle considerations did not seem to play a role. In the promotion of Green Food the main focus should be on health benefits; only a limited group will be responsive to arguments in favour of the Earth’s natural environment. The present study was limited to a specific city in China and to buyers of Green Food. Future research should consider replication in other cities and the inclusion of non-buyers. Nevertheless, this study offered some insights into the rapidly expanding market for Green Food in China. In contrast to mature economies such as the European Union and USA, Chinese consumers are more concerned for personal and family health and less for the environment at large. An unexpected result is that buying motives from existing literature should be reviewed in the light of research on value orientation.

Keywords: food consumption, Green Food, sustainable consumption, values

Research in Hospitality Management 2012, 1(2): 65–73



http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/22243534.2012.11828278
AJOL African Journals Online