Marketing Potential for Biocyclic-Vegan Products? A Qualitative, Explorative Study with Experts and Consumers

Kristin Jürkenbeck, Lara Schleicher, Stephan G.H. Meyerding

Published: 01.12.2019  〉 Volume 68 (2019), Number 4, 289-298  〉 Resort: Articles 
Submitted: N. A.   〉 Feedback to authors after first review: N. A.   〉 Accepted: N. A.
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The number of consumers who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet and people who purchase organic food is increasing worldwide. The labelling of food products with a vegan label only refers to the ingredients, not to the production method. Therefore, animal products e.g. slurry, meal pellets and animal by-products can be used in the chain of agricultural production. A new biocyclic-vegan label, which refers to an exclusion of any animal by-product during production, was introduced in Germany in 2017. The product life cycle consists of five stages. The production method of biocyclic-vegan agricultural products is a new approach. Therefore, very little is known about consumer awareness of these products. As a result, this study is of an exploratory nature and investigates which needs biocyclic-vegan products can satisfy and which additional values these products offer in comparison to organic products. As little is known about the biocyclic-vegan production method, telephone interviews involving six experts and six vegetarian/vegan consumers from Germany were carried out. The interviews took place in January 2018. The consumer convenience sample was selected based on age, gender and profession while the experts were selected based on their expertise. On average the interviews lasted 20 minutes. The interviews consisted of 20 questions. Both, consumers and experts were included to gain knowledge from each perspective. The three key results are that most interviewees knew about biocyclic-vegan production and were able to explain the meaning. Another major result is that consumers mention that the purchase reason is to support the idea of biocyclic-vegan agriculture while experts name ethical reasons as a main purchase reason. The third key result is that the barriers of purchasing the products are the price, lack of knowledge and credibility. As this is an explorative study, further research is needed e.g. more in-depth interviews consisting of a larger sample size and a more diverse sample including consumers following different diets such as flexitarians. Moreover quantitative approaches would give valuable insights into the topic.

University of Goettingen Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Marketing of Food and Agricultural Products Platz der Göttinger Sieben 5, 37073 Göttingen e-mail:
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