Choosing Meat Substitutes: The Power of Packaging when Marketing Towards a Sustainable Future
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- Master of Science 
The meat consumption of the modern world is slowly eating away at our planet’s natural resources. Consumer awareness and governmental regulations surrounding more sustainable food production, has created an area of innovation for products that are meant to replace meat in the diet. Meat substitutes are entering the market in a rapid pace but are yet to gain consumers’ acceptance and share of wallet. The purpose of this study is to determine how to take advantage of visual stimuli on product packaging to increase purchase intention for this relatively new and unexplored food category. An experimental survey using a within-subjects factorial design was selected to investigate drivers behind purchase intention and the participants’ belief in the environmental friendliness of meat substitutes, as well as the effect of environmental involvement. The results show that using the color green on product packaging is an important driver for both environmental belief and purchase intention for meat substitutes. There is a striking difference between men and women in terms of intent to purchase but they have similar beliefs in environmental friendliness of meat substitutes. Participants with different levels of environmental involvement portray contrasting behaviors in relation to the belief in the environmental friendliness of meat substitutes and intent to purchase. The study also suggests that the belief in environmental friendliness of meat substitutes do not mediate the relationship between visual stimuli on the product package, gender and purchase intention. The study provides insight into future directions for marketing managers of meat substitutes. The results indicate that a sustainability approach to marketing of meat substitutes will only be effective for some groups of consumers. The thesis contributes with an understanding of consumers perception of marketing tools used on product packaging, and recommendations on how to take advantage of these tools.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Strategic Marketing Management - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2020