Consumer Behaviour and Marketing


Our research cluster, addresses consumer and farmer attitudes and behaviour, marketing related to food and other product areas. These range from fashion to information technology, food-related human health issues, animal health and welfare, farm-level economics and management, and agricultural and food policy. Our work uses both quantitative and qualitative methods and is interdisciplinary, involving not only economics and social sciences but also disciplines such as psychology.


Dr Giuseppe Nocella

PhD admissions lead - Dr Giuseppe Nocella
MSc(Aberdeen); PhD (Newcastle)

Giuseppe is Programme Director and a lecturer in Agricultural and Food Marketing. His areas of interest focus on contemporary issues related to the agro-food sector and to the environment where he has studied the behaviour of economics agents, employing theories and methodologies that are at the cross-roads between economics and social psychology.




PhD profile - Suwanna SayruamyatSuwanna Sayruamyat

Research title:

'Impacts of attitudes and personality traits on weight goals and willingness to pay for a personalised nutrition programme in Thailand'

Research description:

My research evaluated the impact of college students' attitudes towards nutrigenomic tests (scientific discipline that uses modern genomics technology to study the relationship between genes, nutrition and health), and willingness to pay for these tests in Thailand. This will helpful in defining policy and regulations to tackle obesity problems efficiently.

According to my own experience from my family and friends, health is a very important factor in the quality of life, therefore, efforts to support people in achieving weight control, I believe, will help to reduce obesity rate and related diseases. My research focusses on the psychological factors involved in economic modules, which will provide a better understanding for behaviours of overweight people in Thailand.

Career aspirations:

I would like to continue my career in academia as a lecturer and researcher investigating social movement, and specialising in consumer attitudes and willingness to pay.

Before coming to the University of Reading I was a lecturer for Kasersart University in Thailand since 2010. I took leave from my teaching and research in order to complete my PhD. The experience that I have obtained from studying here will help to improve my research in terms of fund raising and planning, and collaboration among researchers in other countries.

Completion date:

March 2018


Dr Giuseppe Nocella and Professor Nikos Georgantzis


Royal Thai Government

Country of origin:


Why did you choose Reading?

I chose Reading as it is highly ranked for Agriculture and Forestry in the league tables, as well as having a great reputation. I have learnt a huge amount of research skills throughout my time completing my PhD which will be key in my future career.

Studying at Reading has enabled me to consider the psychological model alongside economic models, which has expanded my research vision greatly. I would recommend completing a PhD for anyone hoping to have a career in academia, as the knowledge you gain will enhance your logical thinking, and skills to conduct effective research.


Razan MajarPhD profile- Razan Majar

Research Title:

"Econometric Analysis of British Consumers' Willingness to Pay for Syrian Organic Olive Oil"

Research Description:

In Syria, as in other Mediterranean countries, olive tree cultivation occupies the number one place among fruit trees. Syrian olive oil has the comparative advantage for this product, this creates an opportunity to export the olive oil to the UK market. Recently, the worldwide demand for organic olive oil has expanded rapidly and has acquired a larger share of the market, especially due to issues relating to personal health, food safety concerns and food quality. Throughout my research I used two theories; Consumer Behaviour Theory (CBT) and Random Utility Theory (RUT) in order to investigate British consumers' preferences, perceptions, knowledge and attitudes towards purchasing organic olive oil with regards to healthy food and products quality standard.

My research also focusses on introducing a new product into the UK market, such as Syrian organic olive oil, compared with different brand names. I have evaluated the willingness of British consumers to pay a premium price for organic olive oil, using stated preference methods through the application of a choice experiment.

Throughout my time at Reading I developed various qualitative research methods, such as focus group discussion, in-depth interview, and verbal protocol analysis. I also applied different quantitative discrete choice modelling such as mixed logit model, Probit and order Probit models, in Bayesian econometrics statistical analysis. I am now also familiar with many different algorithm based mathematical and statistical software, which will be of great use in my future career.

Career Aspirations:

In the future I hope to be able to use my expertise in Agricultural and Food Economics in a job that is challenging and allows me to work on a wide number of projects. It has been a long term ambition to pursue academic research and continue my studies to the highest level. I am looking to contribute to innovation activity from developing a new product, service, and processes in the market to adapting and transforming knowledge and ideas about consuming health and safety foods, this in turn might create economic growth.

I wanted to study at PhD level as businesses value doctoral students' deep specialist knowledge, excellent research and analytical skills, and consider that their capacity for critical thinking and bringing new perspectives to solve problems.

Before coming to Reading I worked as an Agricultural Engineer for Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform, this involved to work in economics department, undertaking data analysis, and writing reports about economic evaluation of projects. I then worked as a Teaching assistant at Damascus University, which provided me with skills that were key when completing my job as an academic mentor alongside my PhD research.

Completion Date:

December 2017


Professor Kelvin Balcombe and Dr Chittur Srinivasan


Syrian Ministry of Higher Education

Country of origin:


Why did you choose Reading?

I chose to study at the University of Reading because of its reputation for agricultural economics and marketing. Before completing my PhD I studied an MRES Agricultural and Food Economics course, also at Reading, which gave me a comprehensive introduction to the complex ideas and concepts in agricultural economics, marketing and econometrics analysis, which has been essential to my PhD research.

My time at Reading was both enjoyable and harder work than I could ever have imagined, but the staff helped me to accomplish a degree that I am very proud of. In the first term of my Masters I felt a little out of my depth at times as this was a completely new topic however, by the end of the course I had learnt a huge amount, and had won a scholarship to complete my PhD.

I believe that completing a doctoral degree will demonstrate the breadth of knowledge and understanding. It has increased my confidence in facing new job demands and will help to prepare me to face all challenges in my professional future.

Studying within the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development provided a supportive, multicultural environment, with expert staff from all different disciplines and good facilities.


Ponjan PinpartPhD Profile - Ponjan Pinpart

Research title:

"Consumer food waste behaviour and normative influence"

Research Description:

My work involves behavioural economics explore what people approve and disapprove in wasting food, with consumer acceptance of certain food qualities being assessed. My research will take place in both Thailand and the UK.

I am particularly interested in food waste reduction as it is a new topic that has emerged from an on-going discussion on food production and food security. Apart from producing more food to feed the growing population, I believe that minimising food loss and waste also plays an important role to achieve a better state of food security in our society.

Unlike a conventional topic about food production that looks into the 'attractive' side of food, some topics surrounding food waste deals with 'unintended' behaviour and the 'ugly' or 'unattractive' side where food is quite often discarded. However, I find this to be challenging and I would like to uncover any hidden messages behind food waste and consumer behaviour, and ultimately I am interested in finding efficient methods to minimise the growing issue of food wastage.

Career aspirations:

In the future I would love to be able to work within an international organisation that is focused on people's well-being and food related topics. Being a student at the University of Reading has exposed me to many challenges and positions at an international level, and I hope to find a way in which I can transfer my skills, knowledge, and experience from both academic and business aspects to a position within the food industry and food security.

Before starting my PhD studies I completed a number of work experience roles in Thailand including; an Export Coordinator and Research & Development Manager at Chef's Choice Foods Manufacturer Co. Ltd; A Research Assistant at the Centre of Excellence of Environment Strategy for Green Business; and an Assistant Business Development Manager at Betagen Co. Ltd (a joint venture with FrieslandCampina, Netherlands). I strongly believe that this work experience had been vital in developing my understanding in class and within my research, as I can visualise and compare what it is like in the real world with my experience. This will broaden my career prospects in the future, as work experience is becoming a necessity in the competitive job market.

Expected completion date:

January 2020


Dr. Daniele Asioli andProfessor Nikos Georgantzis



Country of Origin:


Why did you choose Reading?:

I chose to study at Reading because of its high ranking in Agriculture and Food Sciences, as well as its close proximity to London. I also know an alumni of Reading in Thailand, who graduated in 2009, and highly recommended studying there.

The School of Agriculture, Policy and Development is continuously developing to fit in with the world situation, in which I have noticed its dynamic and diverse range of courses growing since I completed my MSc in Food Security and Development at the Graduate Institute of International Development and Economics (GIIDAE) in 2015.

Since starting my PhD, I am very proud of having been selected to take part in an EU project about food waste, carried out by the School; Circular Food Generator Track. A joint collaboration between three universities in the UK and EU, and leading food companies.

I would strongly recommend completing a PhD to students who are independent and motivated to work on their own, and have a passion to find answers related to their PhD topic.

Studying for a PhD gives you an opportunity to discover more about a topic that you are interested in. Carrying on with higher education has allowed me to meet people from all over the world who have similar interests to me.

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