Posted: May 25th, 2022

Fair trade and ethical food products

Ethical Branding: Case of Divine Chocolate

UK consumer attitudes

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Purchasing fair trade chocolate (Divine Chocolate)

USA consumer attitudes

Purchasing fair trade chocolate (Divine chocolate)

Comparison of attitudes

USA and UK consumers towards fair trade chocolate purchasing


According to Visser, W, Matten, D, Pohl, M & Tolhurst, N (2010)fair trade principles and ethical branding is in line with the sustainability of corporation’s business. The business incorporating fair trade principles create a unique selling point for themselves and as a result the consumers are also attracted towards these products. The awareness in developed countries regarding the food and clothing has increased usage of fair trade products. Coffee and chocolate are major items gaining a focused attention by the consumers of young and high income group. The consumers in different markets reflect acceptance for fair trade products according to their own demographic and purchase attributes. There are multiple factors that influence such decisions including price, availability, product features, and awareness are most significant factors influencing fair trade products (Ma, Littrell&Niehm2012).The price of the products marketed under fair trade is also notable factors in influencing the consumption decisions. The business is focusing on creating value for their clients through adoption principles of fair trade. The case of consumers in United States and United Kingdom market is observed in terms of a renowned chocolate brand namely Divine Chocolate. The business is focused to create value for its shareholders through following principles of fair trade.

The principles of fair trade and ethical food products are adopted throughout developed nations. The companies are tilted towards enchasing the benefits of awareness created within the consumer markets. The public awareness is not only the necessary factor in increasing sales and consumption of the fair trade products. It also requires the adherence to business and marketing strategy followed in other business segments. It also requires a fair price for the consumer in order to facilitate the purchase. The quality of the product along with the applicability of other related market features and quality is also essential to facilitate consumers.

Divine Chocolate is one of the leading food businesses in creating awareness within the community regarding the benefits of using fair trade and ethical products. It has also provided its customers with a reasonable and competitive pricing strategy. The quality of the products is also equivalent to the rival products. It has not only gained access to developed markets but at the same time it is also maintaining its efforts to create awareness among consumers and distributors of the products. The United Kingdom and United States market consumers share almost similar values regarding the consumption of fair trade and ethical product brands.

UK consumer attitudes:

There are various factors that influence the consumer behaviors and trends. The socio-economic, education, and demographic factors in influencing consumer behaviors are notable factors. Food marketing and sales are especially considered as a major industry in promoting fair trade among consumers. The increased usage of organic and healthy diet is also promoted throughout developed countries. The demographic variables following fair trade for food industry also includes gender segregation and attitudes towards using ethical food (Wright & McCrea, 2008). The study De Pelsmacker, Driesen, & Rayp (2005) reveals a significant indicator in terms of consumer attitudes and behaviors for fair trade products. The consumers are reported to pay a slightly higher amount for ethical and fair trade food products. Loureiro,&Lotade (2005) confirms the claims made in the earlier research when it indicates that consumers are receptive for fair trade food products and willing to pay more. However the study could not attempt to measure such response as performed by De Pelsmacker et al. (2005).

Therefore it can be concluded that the customers positively welcome fair trade products however when it comes to actual buying, price remains an important factor. The consumer research performed by Didier, & Lucie (2008) indicates that consumers of fair trade chocolate are willing to pay more for the ethically branded products. The research further identifies three clusters in represented as people incentive for the fair trade label. The second important factor is that the labels including fair trade information are significant in improving brand and product image. The consumers also value taste, texture, and quality of products against the claimed fair trade label. Therefore the views of the earlier researches with respect to fair trade value are confirmed.

Hira,&Ferrie (2006) highlights the requirements for fair trade products to improve sales. The products also require a main stream status within food industry across developing and developed markets. The research has emphasized on the importance of awareness and availability of products throughout the notable markets in order to increase potential of fair trade sales. It also highlights the potential of fair trade products in terms of sustainability. The study Wheeler (2012) also supports the suggestions of Hira et al., (2006) through highlighting government efforts in United Kingdom. It has played a significant role in developing awareness regarding Fair Trade. The increased awareness in society has influenced usage of ethical foods over the years. The increase in consumption of ethical foods is also concerning the value of natural and ethical food items. The decreasing consumer attitudes towards buying products that lack in food nutrition and conformity with the food standards. The research also found a notable connection between various personal characteristics and consumption of food items based on fair trade. These components are noted as education, age, gender, educational qualifications, and economic conditions.

The level of awareness is an influential factor for consumers about the consumption of items of fair trade in United Kingdom. A number of consumers are enjoying the amenity of awareness created in previous years through governmental and community-based programs. The governmental organizations along with other European standardization organizations and regulatory agencies are developing laws and norms for minimum acceptability for food products. The food products are especially treated as major items of concern in terms of their relevance for health and safety of the public (Wheeler, 2012).

Purchasing fair trade chocolate (Divine Chocolate):

The Day chocolate Company has adopted a mechanism to ensure adherence to principles of fair-trade. The company is regarded as one of the leading company adopting the usage of fair-trade coca usage within their production lines. Divine chocolate is the renowned brand of the company and they also advertise the features of fair trade. The consumers of the company are aware of the characteristics of the chocolate purchased. The farmers and traders of the coca powder used in manufacturing Divine Chocolate have a fair share in each sale. The adoption of fair trade principles are ensured through the company as the farmers of coca used in the production are offered a fair share in the value added product as Divine Chocolate. Fairtrade Foundation (2012)the rate for fair trade minimum price is $2,000 / tons. In addition to that $200 / ton premium is also paid to farmers. The report also indicates that climate change is posing a shortage of supply of coca, therefore the price for $2,300/tons as of July 2012. International Cocoa Organization (2012) highlights cocoa prices ranged $1,361 and U.S.$3,730/ton for the period of 2002 to 2012. The minimum price is observed during May 2004 as a result of global financial crunch in the market. The world cocoa production has attained an average annual growth rate of 3.3% during the period.

DeCarlo (2011) and Korgen, and Gallagher, (2013) agree on the contributions and operation of Divine Chocolate.The trends for purchasing fair trade products within the United Kingdom are observed through a through survey of shops and stores within the market. Raynolds, (2002) also highlights the importance of survey in order to assess market for fair trade in United Kingdom. The customer trends are developing around the awareness created throughout the country with the government and community efforts. The awareness among female members of society is more effective in terms of the transformation of the knowledge about fair trade and consumption of food items. The survey revealed that the fair-trade products are gaining popularity among the consumers. The Divine Chocolate is also gaining popularity among young and female consumers. The research Gropel (2012) is also of the view that consumers are willing to pay for Divine Chocolate in return to benefits of fair trade food product. The product is bought regularly by the consumers as a tribute to the manufacturers as they have promoted the product in terms of its effectiveness for implementation of principles of fair trade. The notable features found during the primary research are related to the following strategy components of the company.

The business is focused to provide a quality oriented affordable range of products. The business is also focused to create market awareness with the target market through various marketing initiatives. The consumers as well as the retailers are also provided with the assistance to create awareness regarding key elements of the products. The change in consumer buying attitudes is also observed through the efforts as a change in the production and marketing strategy of the business. The business is also becoming one of the leading companies and a well-known case study of the fair trade principles within the market. The business is also creating a noble image within the target market through its efforts of creating awareness for paying the fair price to its coca producers. The image created by the business is significantly affecting its brand image as an ethical brand. The research of Britain (2007) is also evident of the findings presented above.

USA consumer attitudes:

According to Ma (2007) the consumers in United States are also familiar with the fair trade attitudes and principles. The young consumers are highly likely to purchase products that are manufactured by the businesses incorporating fair trade principles. The consumers of young age group prefer to value the contributions of manufacturers towards fair trade principles (Gropel, 2012). The graduates and educated high income group is also tilted towards adoption of the products that are sold according to the fair trade principles. The consumers of food items especially coffee are among the highest in the country that are likely to adopt fair trade products. The consumption of coffee within United States is high among young and educated high income group individuals (Doole & Lowe 2008).

The likelihood of consumption of coffee brands along with other food items including chocolate and confectionery are also observed as increasing in terms of their presence and availability. The awareness is also created through usage of internet and various marketing techniques used by the companies upholding the ethical practices similar as fair trade principles. The contribution of various food business organizations for promoting fair trade as business principles cannot be undermined. Divine chocolate is also one of the major contributors of the society as they have entered various markets including United Kingdom and United States with an aim to promote their products for fair trade principles (Millard, 2007). The usage of coca for manufacturing chocolate is procured according to the principles of fair trade and as stated earlier they also offer share of the final products to the producers of raw materials in their case coca (Doole et al. 2008).

Purchasing fair trade chocolate (Divine chocolate):

According to Krier (2008) the average spending within the European market for fair trade products is at an average of Euro 21 per person. The spending level on unethical food items is high however the awareness created with the communities is likely to affect the level of sales in coming years. Similarly another developed market is United States and the companies are witnessing that the change in consumer attitudes. The research Zezza and Tasciotti (2010) provides a detailed view of the consumer attitudes towards fair trade. The survey conducted for the current research is also evident that the consumers are attracted towards the fair trade principles however the socio-economic factors are also considerable. The business following fair trade principles for production and marketing of their products are required to adopt competitive pricing strategy. The case of Divine Chocolate is successful as it provides a rational ground for its customers to purchase products that are widely competitive in their pricing strategy.

The consumers in United States are also attracted to the products as the company is selling its products within the main stream products line at competitive pricing. The initial selling of the brand was through specialty stores and selected outlets which did not bring effective results. The successful marketing of the products within United Kingdom market are followed through the U.S. market and it is observed that similar results are expected within U.S. market. The market attitudes and consumer behavior within United States market is also similar to other European markets. The Fair trade food consumption in United States is also highly in conformance with the international markets consisting of developed countries. The role of customer and trader’s awareness is also significant. The awareness created through multiple marketing and branding techniques is vital for successful sales of fair trade food products.

Comparison of attitudes:

The research Rezitis (2011) describes the consumer behaviors in terms of the food products as they are more likely to be influenced by the attributes of personal preferences. The food consumption within a country is also influenced by the socio-economic factors. The businesses are also likely to adopt techniques for marketing their products that are in line with the consumer preferences. The consumer of high economic stability is likely to increase per capita consumption. The developed worlds including United States and United Kingdom are likely to share similar values and attitudes in food consumption as compared with the under developed and developing countries. The comparison of the attitudes towards fair trade within U.S. And UK reveals following results.

Consumer attitudes of both markets represent similar values in terms of fair trade food products. The young and educated class of both markets is similar in terms of their economic attitudes. The overall economic conditions of the markets are similar however the governmental system is different. The United Kingdom government is likely to take part in creating awareness whereas the U.S. government enables the business to create awareness. The non-governmental organizations within U.S. are more likely to create awareness among consumers. The Divine Chocolate in United States had entered the market through specialty stores which could not bring results. The research Clarke, Barnett, Cloke, and Malpass (2007) is also confirms the survey results and comparisons presented in the above sections.

Purchase intentions are found to be similar within both markets as the consumers are likely to buy products according to their preferences. The cost and value of the food products are notable concerns however the awareness regarding the usage of ethical products has created a difference among common consumers. The usage of food and clothing are major contributors towards consumer attention. The usage of fair trade principles motivates the consumers to purchase products with high ethical values. However the cost of these products should also be in line with the major brands in the market.

USA and UK consumers towards fair trade chocolate purchasing:

The United Kingdom and United States consumers are among notable countries with increased awareness regarding the fair trade products. The businesses have also adopted an active marketing and branding strategy for these countries along with other European nations. The increased focus on ethical manufacturing practices for food industry is one of the major factors in creating a stable market of fair trade food products. The initiation of fair trade coffee is one of the notable movements in United Sates and it has largely influenced the educated youth of the country to consume products with high ethical values.

The consumers in United Kingdom are segregated in terms of their age group, geographic locations, and income groups. The effects of awareness created to increased usage of fair trade principles for consumption of food products has influenced females of educated and high income groups. The Divine Chocolate is also notable in terms of its applicability for the similar pricing structure and effective marketing techniques. The consumers are not compromised on the basis of product quality and price. It has placed the product in leading position for ethical food manufacturer and distributor. The product also takes advantage of the awareness created within the market through governmental and community sources.

Research Methodology:

The research methodology is adopted to cater the qualitative and quantities paradigms provide a detailed view of the local market (United Kingdom) and foreign market (United States). The primary and secondary research is conducted to understand the impact of market awareness and consumption of the ethical food product especially Divine Chocolate. The secondary research is conducted through peer reviewed journals, books, and researches of various scholars. The sources of the research are academic in nature and ethical considerations of providing the academic sources are also fulfilled according to the requirements.

A qualitative research survey is designed in order to gain the structured information from the local market and it is conducted through personal sources. E-mail is used to survey United States market. The survey results are analyzed in accordance with research parameters. The closed ended structured questions are asked in order to assess the applicability within the local and foreign market. The primary research is also performed according to the ethical requirements and anonymity of the interviews and interviewer is also maintained. The results of the interview and survey are interpreted according to the preset criterion and the findings are presented as a comparison of the consumer attitudes in United States and United Kingdom markets.


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Clarke, N, Barnett, C, Cloke, P & Malpass, a 2007, the political rationalities of fair-trade consumption in the United Kingdom, Politics & Society, Vol. 35, No. 4, pp. 583-607.

De Pelsmacker, P, Driesen, L & Rayp, G 2005, Do Consumers Care about Ethics? Willingness to Pay for Fair-Trade Coffe, Journal of consumer affairs, vol. 39, No. 2, pp. 363-385.

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Loureiro, ML & Lotade, J 2005, Do fair trade and eco-labels in coffee wake up the consumer conscience?, Ecological Economics, vol. 53, No. 1, pp. 129-138.

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Ma, YJ, Littrell, MA & Niehm, L2012, Young female consumers’ intentions toward fair trade consumption. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 40, No. 1, pp. 41-63.

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Appendix a



Strongly Agree

Somewhat Agree

Q1. I understand the concept and meanings of Fair trade products?

Q2. Often I am not sure about originality of a brand even if it’s expensive since I do not know the unique features/quality of that product

Q3. Fair Trade products are highly sought after due to regular purchase of such products.

Q4. If Fair Trade product is needed, I will consider purchasing it.

Q5. Personal integrity is compromised by making purchase of Fair Trade product.

Q6. One has to buy Fair Trade to maintain social status as original brands are very expensive.

Q7. In my opinion, buying Fair Trade products do not have significant legal implications.

Q8. I am sure I have a moral obligation of using Fair Trade products

Q9. Fair Trade products provide same quality as the products of which they are an imitation.

Q10. Purchasing Fair Trade products is source of motivation since lot of benefits are obtained on their purchase.

Q11. There is an adventurism related to use of Fair Trade products.

Q12. Most of the friends have reneged in purchase of Fair Trade products.

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