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Consumers’ values and behaviour in the Brazilian coffee-in-capsules market: Promoting circular economy

Paucar-Caceres, Alberto and Abuabara, Leila and Toni Burrowes-Cromwell, Toni (2019) Consumers’ values and behaviour in the Brazilian coffee-in-capsules market: Promoting circular economy. International Journal of Production Research. ISSN 0020-7543

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Abstract

Coffee consumption is changing. Monodose, flavoured coffee capsules provide new experiences beyond the traditional custom of brewing coffee. While these pods mean access to a selection of premium coffee worldwide, they create huge quantities of plastic-aluminium packaging waste. This paper examines the novelty of coffee capsule consumption in Brazil in terms of consumers’ perspectives about ethical enterprise and environmental stewardship. We argue for ‘waste to resource’ management and applying reverse logistics to the coffee production supply chain. Based on Circular Economy principles and fuelled by the ‘green’ awareness of Brazilian coffee consumers themselves, we propose a conceptual framework to support business decision-making by adopting a systemic intervention from the consumer viewpoint. To structure and scope the problematic situation, we conducted over 40 interviews, using purposive sampling. Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), Value Focused Thinking (VFT) and Rich Picture Technique also informed our problem structuring approach. Findings illustrate that the ambition for a reverse supply chain in coffee capsule manufacturing presents real challenges to achieving circular practice. Yet, the eco-values of Brazilian coffee enthusiasts may be partly considered a ‘wealth of information flow’ and a potential driving force for change. This paper should be of interest to researchers and practitioners exploring how consumers may contribute to behavioural change, towards more circular business.

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