The Meat of the Matter: Using Social Marketing to Influence Red Meat Purchase Behaviour
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The production and consumption of red meat presents a significant threat to environmental health and sustainability at a global scale. This study evaluates community-based social marketing tools as a means of reducing red meat purchases at grocery stores. Consumer surveys and focus groups are used to explore the psychosocial aspects of consumer behaviour particular to red meat purchases, and guide the development of a community-based social marketing pilot in two Toronto grocery stores. The pilot asked consumers to publicly commit to reducing red meat purchases by one meal per week. Measuring red meat sales demonstrated that commitment is an effective means of temporarily reducing red meat purchases. Recommendations include an approach combining various social marketing tools such as information, commitment, and social diffusion in an effort to transform social norms and foster a culture of lower red meat consumption.