Degree Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management

First Advisor

Robert H. Bosselman

Second Advisor

Rebecca L. Tang

Abstract

In-house food service brands operating on college campuses struggle to build brand image with limited consumer awareness. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities may enhance brand image for customers, employees, and stakeholders. In some cases, CSR associations have significant influence on consumers' response to new products. The purpose of this study was to determine if a non-branded socially responsible retail food offering would be accepted (evoked) by a campus consumer. To date there has been little research on this topic. College-age customer purchasing trends can provide important insight into future consumer trends. The quantitative methodology started with a coffee-cupping survey and an Internet-based survey on socially responsible coffee. With the knowledge gained from the cupping survey and Internet survey a structured equation modeling (SEM) confirmatory model was developed. This model and the five hypotheses were tested by the campus coffee survey, a personal intercept survey instrument (N = 344). In addition to the SEM, other quantitative methods were utilized including multiple regressions and ANOVA. By using accepted brand categorization methods, this study confirms that an in-house coffee brand offering a high-quality product and deploying a brand social responsible strategy can be coveted by the college campus customers with little or no previous experience of the brand. Additionally the research illuminated how these customers' needs for social responsibility products will reshape the foodservice and restaurant industry in the near future.

Copyright Owner

Frank Edward Wencel

Language

en

Date Available

2012-10-31

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

138 pages

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