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dc.contributor.authorFarley, Karen 12:48:04 (GMT) 12:48:04 (GMT)
dc.description.abstractCanada has a deep-rooted reliance on single-use plastic in the food industry, with little evidence of changing its use of plastic as a durable, convenient, and cost-effective choice of packaging material to process, package, deliver and sell food to Canadian consumers (Schweitzer et al., 2018; Sundqvist-Andberg & Åkerman, 2021). A majority of Canadian consumers (73.4 percent) support banning single-use plastic food packaging in favour of more sustainable food packaging options, according to a consumer survey by Dalhousie University (Walker et al., 2021). However, barriers at the point-of-purchase, including the higher price tag and limited availability of food without plastic packaging, limit the purchase of plastic-free food products in Canada. This quantitative research project was undertaken to 1) segment consumers based on their consumer opinions regarding single-use food packaging, 2) determine the pre-purchasing intentions and point-of-purchase behaviour of Canadian consumers, and 3) determine if any gap exists between consumers’ intention and their purchasing decisions when food shopping. The Theory of Planned Behaviour explains the connection between consumer intention (“intention”) and purchasing decisions (“behaviour”) (Ajzen, 1991). Data was collected from Ontario food shoppers using a custom mobile app to capture both consumers' intentions before shopping for food and their purchasing decisions while food shopping. The data of 95 participants who completed the study - a competition rate of 42.04 percent - was segmented into Green (20 percent) and Grey (80 percent) consumer segments for comparative analysis between the two groups. The results show that both Green and Grey Consumers are more strongly influenced by their in-store purchasing decisions regarding packaging than their pre-shopping intentions which current intention-only surveys would not reveal. This research provides evidence of consumer support for the shift to more plastic-free food products in Canadian supermarkets. The researcher intends to develop the mobile app used for this research project into a commercially viable version to support the shift away from single-use plastic food packaging.en
dc.publisherUniversity of Waterlooen
dc.subjectsingle-use plasticen
dc.subjectplastic-free packagingen
dc.subjectsustainable packagingen
dc.subjectconsumer decision-makingen
dc.subjectconsumer segmentationen
dc.subjectgreen consumersen
dc.subjectresponsible productionen
dc.subjectresponsible consumptionen
dc.subjectcircular economyen
dc.subjectTheory of Planned Behaviouren
dc.subjectintention-behaviour gapen
dc.subjectquantitative surveyen
dc.subjectmobile applicationen
dc.titleUnpacking the Intention-Behaviour Gap in Canadian Consumers’ Food Purchasing Decisionsen
dc.typeMaster Thesisen
dc.pendingfalse of Environment, Enterprise and Developmenten Managementen of Waterlooen
uws-etd.degreeMaster of Environmental Studiesen
uws.contributor.advisorGeobey, Sean
uws.contributor.affiliation1Faculty of Environmenten

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