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Chidiac, Nicole and Lundquist, Iris, 2023. Consumers’ perception of climate-smart wine packaging : a case study on Systembolaget. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Department of Molecular Sciences



Environmental concerns in the wine industry are getting more attention worldwide, making it important to shift to more sustainable practices. One of the most significant CO2e emissions originates from wine glass bottles as packaging material. More climate-smart packaging alternatives are emerging as a response, but challenges remain to encourage consumers to make the shift, as the glass bottle is associated with quality, history, tradition, art, and history, being the norm. Following corporate social responsibility, companies in the wine industry have a responsibility to integrate sustainable practices into their businesses and provide an encouraged framework for consumers to make conscious choices. Systembolaget, the Swedish state-owned company with a monopoly on the retail trade of alcoholic beverages, aspire to increase climate-smart wine packaging in their assortment. However, a challenge remains in encouraging consumers to leave the glass bottle and change their behaviors. This project is on commission by Systembolaget and aims to explain the conditions for altering packaging materials for a food product. The thesis followed a qualitative research method based on three focus group interviews with ten consumers and two semi-structured interviews with store employees, to enhance comprehension regarding consumers' perception of climate-smart wine packaging. The theoretical framework encompassed marketing theories such as the four C’s and Sustainable Business Models (SBM), whereas the conceptual framework, the Alphabet Theory, derived from social psychology.
The findings revealed a discrepancy between the consumers’ interest in sustainability and their actual purchasing habits. The obstacles to adopting climate-smart packaging were substantial, indicating a green gap or attitude-behavior gap. There exists a lack of knowledge about wine in climate-smart packaging, leading to concerns over potential compromises in quality and functionality. Due to the norm of the glass bottle, barriers were also related to presenting climate-smart options in social settings. Consequently, it limited their information-seeking process about climate-smart wine packaging. However, consumers expressed a preference for innovative product designs that adhered to the conventional "glass bottle norm" in terms of shape and material, emphasizing the significance of innovation according to what feels familiar. To increase the incentives to purchase climate-smart packaging, the education of consumers is crucial, which can be achieved through employees’ expertise or communication campaigns that employ a combination of educational incentives and social comparison to alter norms. Nudging incentives in stores can simplify consumers’ decision-making process, making the climate-smart choice the easy choice. However, challenges arise when attempting to integrate sustainability goals within a state-owned company governed by regulations. Balancing brand neutrality with the promotion of climate-smart options presents inherent conflicts, revealing a need for additional educational tools and support from the Systembolaget headquarters. With increased knowledge attempts, consumer understanding can increase and have a reinforcing effect. Norm changes within a strongly norm-based industry are complex, but not impossible. As with any behavior, it is a co-creation between the individual and her societal environment, which adapts and shapes with time.

Main title:Consumers’ perception of climate-smart wine packaging
Subtitle:a case study on Systembolaget
Authors:Chidiac, Nicole and Lundquist, Iris
Supervisor:Mark-Herbert, Cecilia
Examiner:Fernqvist, Fredrik
Series:Molecular Sciences
Volume/Sequential designation:2023:21
Year of Publication:2023
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM028 Sustainable Food Systems - Master's Programme, 120.0hp
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Department of Molecular Sciences
Keywords:Wine packaging, climate impact, consumer behavior, sustainability labels,, CSR, Alpabeth Theory
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Deposited On:11 Aug 2023 06:05
Metadata Last Modified:12 Aug 2023 01:01

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