The research study on understanding consumers’ perception and behavior towards “sustainable consumption and production (SCP)” was conducted as part of WWF-Thailand’s consumer survey under the SCP project. The main objective of the research is to gain an in-depth understanding and inside to local consumer perception and behavior towards SCP in order to design communication plan/campaign for the promotion of SCP campaign(s) in Thailand.
The mixed method research study involved focus group discussions and exit interviews with Thai, middle class consumers with a total sample size of 240 interviewees. The types of questions asked touched on various thematic aspects, such as awareness towards sustainable consumption and production (SCP), food production process and its relatability to environmental degradation, health deterioration and food waste. Topics of food product label, food traceability, purchasing habit/decision, and ability and willingness to pay were also included to develop further insight into a consumer’s behavioral and motivational traits when it comes to food purchasing.
According to the research study, the top motivation factors accounting for the food buying behavior of consumers are cleanliness (77%), freshness (63%), price (56%), with other minor considerations of label visibility (34%), food traceability (28%) and food production process (19%). Where 56% of the surveyed consumers were aware of the definition of ‘Sustainable consumption’, a high percentage admitted to food production process, traceability having impact on their purchase decision-making process. Significant considerations are also given towards labels on food products during food selection, where much thought are given towards expiry date (98%) and manufactured ate (90%).
These findings have significant implications for the development of WWF-Thailand’s sustainable consumption and production consumer campaign in Thailand. Four research recommendations were proposed as communication campaign strategies: 1) Increase consumer information availability to the SCP concept, 2) increase consumer accessibility to SCP information for further engagement, 3) taking motivational factors in a consumer’s food choice (i.e. freshness, certification, and price) into consideration, and 4) building organizational strength through partnerships.