A trade-off is faced by products and services’ providers: reaching economic profitability while respecting the environment and benefiting the society. A sustainability balance is fundamental to satisfy human needs in a resource-scarce global context. Consumers’ behaviour plays a key role on sustainability due to its purchase power, but sometimes the absence of information or fully label understanding results into uninformed decisions. A highly processed product widely consumed in developed countries is chocolate, despite the environmental, economic, and social impacts of its production. The aim of this research is to identify the perception of consumers regarding the sustainability of the chocolate life cycle and compare it with experts’ opinion, and evidences from current studies. Special attention on food loss and waste has been made due to its relevance in the sustainability sphere. A combination of literature review and consultation to consumers and chocolate value-chain experts evidenced the gap between what is expected by consumers and what is recognized by experts and literature. Lack of fully understanding of labels, missing information about cocoa crops and its connection with deforestation or, the absence of studies dealing with the social, economic and environmental impacts of chocolate life cycle have been identified as some of the gaps. These could be fulfilled by improving the lack of a common assessment method applied to measure sustainability in a comparative way, the dearth of buyers’ trust to certifications by enhancing its meaning, and the poverty of communication received and understood about sustainable products by targeting specific consumers’ needs.

Sustainability concerns and practices in the chocolate life cycle: Integrating consumers’ perceptions and experts’ knowledge

Garcia-Herrero L.
;
De Menna F.;Vittuari M.
2019

Abstract

A trade-off is faced by products and services’ providers: reaching economic profitability while respecting the environment and benefiting the society. A sustainability balance is fundamental to satisfy human needs in a resource-scarce global context. Consumers’ behaviour plays a key role on sustainability due to its purchase power, but sometimes the absence of information or fully label understanding results into uninformed decisions. A highly processed product widely consumed in developed countries is chocolate, despite the environmental, economic, and social impacts of its production. The aim of this research is to identify the perception of consumers regarding the sustainability of the chocolate life cycle and compare it with experts’ opinion, and evidences from current studies. Special attention on food loss and waste has been made due to its relevance in the sustainability sphere. A combination of literature review and consultation to consumers and chocolate value-chain experts evidenced the gap between what is expected by consumers and what is recognized by experts and literature. Lack of fully understanding of labels, missing information about cocoa crops and its connection with deforestation or, the absence of studies dealing with the social, economic and environmental impacts of chocolate life cycle have been identified as some of the gaps. These could be fulfilled by improving the lack of a common assessment method applied to measure sustainability in a comparative way, the dearth of buyers’ trust to certifications by enhancing its meaning, and the poverty of communication received and understood about sustainable products by targeting specific consumers’ needs.
Garcia-Herrero L.; De Menna F.; Vittuari M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/690450
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