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Explaining consumers' intentions towards purchasing green food in Qingdao, China: The amendment and extension of the theory of planned behavior

Qi, Xin, Ploeger, Angelika
Appetite 2019 v.133 pp. 414-422
consciousness, cultural environment, food marketing, food purchasing, foods, issues and policy, models, prediction, questionnaires, structural equation modeling, surveys, China
This study aims to investigate consumers' green food purchase intentions using a survey conducted in Qingdao, Shandong Province, China. Based on the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), it models the influences of Chinese culture and consumer characteristics towards purchasing green food products. According to TPB, the behavioral intention is determined by attitude, subjective norms and perceived behavioral control, whereas subjective norms vary according to differences in cultural systems. This study incorporates traditional Chinese cultural constructs of face consciousness and group conformity instead of subjective norms to develop an amended TPB model under China's cultural environment. Furthermore, the TPB model has been extended by adding the constructs of confidence and personal characteristics to represent the current consumption environment and consumers' characteristics. Research data were derived from Chinese consumers via a paper questionnaire and obtained valid responses from 300 participants. To test the overall model fit, structural equation modeling was applied. The explanatory capabilities of the models were also evaluated. The findings reported the usefulness of TPB in predicting consumers' green food purchase intentions in the research area. The results also supported the applicability of incorporating cultural constructs, confidence, and personal characteristics into the Chinese case, as the explanatory capability was increased after being measured by the amended TPB models under China's cultural conditions as well as the extended models (from 71% to 83%). These findings have research implications that may be important for policy and food marketing, and can be used to better understand the factors that influence purchase intentions of Chinese consumers towards green food products.