Comparing sustainable consumption patterns across product sectors.
Oates, Caroline J.
Alevizou, Panayiota J.
MetadataShow full item record
MCDONALD, S., OATES, C., THYNE, M., ALEVIZOU, P. and MCMORLAND, L., 2009. Comparing sustainable consumption patterns across product sectors. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 33 (2), pp. 137-145.
In this paper, we present findings from two qualitative studies where we explored sustainable consumption practices through examining consumers' information search and decision-making processes for recent purchases of five categories of goods/services: fast moving consumer goods (such as foodstuffs and household products), white goods (such as fridges and washing machines), small electrical products (such as TVs and computers), green energy tariffs (such as electricity from renewable sources) and tourism (such as flights). This research has provided us with a set of rich data which explores the nature and extent of sustainable consumption practices across different product sectors. A comparative analysis has allowed us to draw out patterns of consumer behaviour for different product and service types. Our findings suggest that even the same green consumer will not use the same information sources or decision-making criteria, consider the same options or focus on the same industry actors, for products in different sectors. However, we have identified some degree of consistency in purchases within sectors. We present these sector-specific patterns of consumer behaviour and highlight differences in the criteria utilized and the research norms in each sector.