An Exploratory, Qualitative Evaluation of Consumer's Perceptions and Attitudes towards Ethiopian Coffee: a Study of Cardiff Metropolitan University Students
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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To this day, an in-depth literature investigating the Ethiopian coffee sector is very scarce. The main purpose of this research was to gain an insight into consumer attitudes and perceptions towards Ethiopian coffee. This study evaluated the degree of influence that attributes, such as country of origin, brand image associations and product differentiation have on the perceptions and attitudes of consumers in a developed country. Through theoretical background and critical review of the literature, key assumptions were formed. Subsequently, an empirical research was carried out among students of Cardiff Metropolitan University. The method employed in data collection was of an inductive, exploratory and qualitative nature. The findings of this research suggested that coffee is perceived as lowinvolvement product, where consumers invest little to no effort in its consideration and that the awareness of Ethiopian coffee is very low. Furthermore, the data revealed that the country of origin effect was adverse, i.e. negative country image induced positive attitudes towards the product. Brand image associations, such as Fairtrade, have a positive impact upon attitudes and perceptions of participants involved. Finally, the most important factors exerting an influence on perceptions and attitudes of students are the price and the taste of the product as well as its retailer. Naturally, this study also has its limitations, which should be addressed in the future. Firstly, the sample was restricted to students of Cardiff Metropolitan University and thus the results provide limited universal validity. Secondly, the attitudes and perceptions of individuals are difficult to analyze and measure thus the results are affected by the subjective view of the researcher. Perhaps, future research should verify these results using a quantitative method.
BA (Hons) International Business Management
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