Sustainable food choice motives: The development and cross-country validation of the Sustainable Food Choice Questionnaire (SUS-FCQ)

Elsevier, Food Quality and Preference, Volume 93, October 2021
Verain M.C.D., Snoek H.M., Onwezen M.C., Reinders M.J., Bouwman E.P.

In view of all kinds of sustainability concerns related to our current diet, it is essential to gain a good understanding of the sustainability motives consumers have for selecting their food. A comprehensive and validated scale to measure sustainability motives within the full range of food choice motives could contribute to this understanding, especially as sustainability is a multi-faceted concept in which the different aspects can sometimes be conflicting. The current paper aims to 1) develop the Sustainable Food Choice Questionnaire (SUS-FCQ) that covers the full concept of sustainability, 2) test which dimensions of sustainable food choice motives can be distinguished and 3) validate the scale as part of the Food Choice Questionnaire in multiple countries. An online survey was completed by 5,116 respondents from five European countries (The Netherlands, Denmark, Czech Republic, France and Italy). The scale was developed with a Dutch sub-sample and validated in all included countries. Exploratory factor analysis followed by confirmatory factor analyses resulted in a two-factor solution. A ‘general sustainability’ dimension (6 items, covering environmental, ethical and animal welfare aspects) and a ‘local & seasonal’ dimension (3 items) were identified. The Sustainable Food Choice Questionnaire shows to be reliable and valid in the five included countries and can be used as an addition to the Food Choice Questionnaire developed by Steptoe and colleagues (1995). The scale is suitable to gain a better understanding of the position of sustainability motives against other motives in consumers food choices and can be used for country comparisons.