An exploration of how ethics and sustainability influence the purchase decision of millennials in the coffee industry in Ireland

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Barbosa, Nayara Lira
Issue Date
MSc in Marketing
Dublin Business School
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Consumer behaviour is a popular topic among authors in the marketing field. It may be due to difficulties in understanding and predicting what will affect consumers when purchasing a product or service. The ethical and green consumer is considered to be a special kind of consumer that is less impulsive in their shopping decisions. They tend to worry about what is involved in the production and trade of the product. They also care about social causes and environmental issues relating to companies. The coffee industry suffers from some serious issues in underdeveloped countries, such as poverty, fair wages to growers and child labour. This study researched if consumer in Ireland are influenced by ethical and sustainable standards when buying coffee. This study aimed to research the coffee industry, because it has seen a phenomenal rise in the last ten years in Ireland, turning the traditionally tea drinking country into a big coffee consumer with the opening of coffee shops and big coffee chains around Ireland. According to the literature review, millennials are considered the consumers who most care about the ethics and sustainability of companies in their production. Therefore, this dissertation gave special attention to understanding millennials’ consumer behaviour towards the coffee industry, focusing on their opinions, thoughts and knowledge about the ethics and sustainability of the industry. In order to gather enough information to come up with findings, this study carried out a survey with millennials in Dublin and interviews with managers of coffee shops. The findings were very helpful in order to draw up consumer behaviour patterns and come up with conclusions that aim to help future researches and business growth.