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Investigating the Role of Supermarkets in Alternative Protein Consumption

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Title: Investigating the Role of Supermarkets in Alternative Protein Consumption
Author: Gravely, Evan
Department: Department of Geography
Program: Geography
Advisor: Fraser, Evan
Abstract: A transition to a more sustainable diet likely requires substituting animal proteins with alternatives such as plant-based proteins. Yet consumers are not regularly consuming alternative protein products, and one potential explanation is that the dominant food retail infrastructure is not oriented in favour of these foods. I conducted an in-depth exploration of the role of supermarkets in mediating plant-based protein consumption in a Canadian food retail setting. Using a mix of supermarket audits, consumer observations and interviews, and key informant interviews, I determined that supermarkets are simultaneously enabling and limiting consumers when it comes to alternative protein consumption by increasing the availability of plant-based options but assuming minimal and even confounding strategies when marketing these products to consumers. I contend that efforts to increase society’s consumption of alternative protein products would greatly benefit from a better understanding of the supermarket’s role in mediating this transition.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/13061
Date: 2018-05


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