Students investigate consumer behaviour

Market research for the “Kerrygold” brand in Neukirchen-Vluyn

As part of a semester project, postgraduate students from the International Management and Psychology degree programme at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences investigated the behaviour of consumers in NRW with regard to dairy products.

Kleve/Kamp-Lintfort, March 26, 2015: As part of a semester project, 22 postgraduate students from the first and second semesters of the International Management and Psychology study course of the Faculty of Communication and Environment at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences researched the behaviour of German consumers with regard to dairy products, in particular butter and fat-based spreads.

The project, which was the fruition of a collaborative effort between students, faculty and the company Irish Dairy Board (IDB) Deutschland GmbH, investigated the full spectrum of psychological and socio-cultural factors which can influence consumer behaviour. Besides factors relating to motivation, students found that cultural dimensions of consumer behaviour, e.g. consumption rituals, played a major role. “A comprehensive analysis of psychological and socio-cultural influences is a critical first step towards understanding purchasing decisions of consumers at a fundamental level. Strategic marketing plans are often built upon these kinds of research findings”, explains Professor Dr. Thomas Heun, Professor of Consumer Behaviour and Market Research at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences.

The project included a statistical survey, which granted insight into consumers’ values – particularly those of younger consumers in North Rhine-Westphalia. Students discovered how important “natural authenticity” and “health” was for consumers when purchasing butter and fat-based spreads. They also confirmed the tendency of Millennials to react sceptically and negatively to flashy and promotional product promises.

“We as clients were pleased to see the quality of the results and students’ professional approach to the topic of research. We will take full advantage of the insight gleaned from this project and take the appropriate steps in the next few weeks to improve our performance”, explains Manual Rodriguez-Eicke, Head of Marketing for IDB Deutschland GmbH.

IDB Deutschland GmbH is a subsidiary of IDB in Dublin, which is a marketing organisation of the Irish dairy industry. The “Kerrygold” brand of Irish butter is packaged and distributed to the German and Eastern European markets along with other dairy products at IDB Deutschland GmbH’s headquarters in Neunkirchen-Vluyn.