Health and environmental attitudes and values in food choices: a comparative study for Poland and Czech Republic
Research background: Health and environmental concerns linked to food production and consumption have become crucial both for policy makers and for consumers for modern society. Some consumers are becoming increasingly careful about what they eat, giving value to the impacts of everyday food choices on their health and on the environment. There have been few studies that have jointly analyzed these consumption patterns and that have looked for their association.
Purpose of the article: The objective of the study is to develop a Polish (PL) and Czech (Cz) young-adult consumers’ segmentation based on health and environ-mental attitudes and values in food choices. The research is needed to diagnose consumption trends in this segment of the market to enable creating a market offer tailored to this group of consumers.
Methods: A total of 631 students from two Universities — one in Poland (University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn (323)) and on in the Czech Republic (University of South Bohemia (308)) were selected to participate in the research. The sample of students was chosen because of the importance of young-adult consumers as the participants of the market with a specified purchasing potential. The data were collected through a survey questionnaire, in which a Likert type scale was used to determine the health and environmental attitudes and values in food choices. The results obtained were analyzed statistically using Statistica 13.1 using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) with Varimax rotation, cluster analysis using the k-means method and ANOVA.
Findings & Value added: The survey demonstrated that the students presented both health and environmental attitudes, and that their food choices were driven to a lesser extent by the environmental than by the health-related values. Results demonstrated that the two distinguished factors significantly differentiated both the Polish and the Czech students into two clusters, with the first cluster being represented by consumers presenting stronger health and environmental attitudes (PL N=58%, Cz N=48%) compared to the students from the second cluster. It adds value to recent young consumers’ behavior knowledge by jointly analyzing their attitudes toward health and environmental values in food choices. These findings may be useful in developing effective educational and marketing campaigns and understanding the demand for certain products.
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