Consumer Movements and Value Regimes: Fighting Food Waste in Germany by Building Alternative Object Pathways

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Research units


Consumer movements strive to change markets when those markets produce value outcomes that conflict with consumers’ higher-order values. Prior studies argue that consumer movements primarily seek to challenge these value outcomes by championing alternative higher-order values or by pressuring institutions to change market governance mechanisms. Building on and refining theorization on value regimes, this study illuminates a new type of consumer movement strategy where consumers collaborate to construct alternative object pathways. The study draws from ethnographic fieldwork in the German retail food sector and shows how building alternative object pathways allowed a consumer movement to mitigate the value regime’s excessive production of food waste. The revised value regime theorization offers a new and more holistic way of understanding and contextualizing how and where consumer movements mobilize for change. It also provides a new tool for understanding systemic value creation and the role of consumers in such processes.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-482
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Issue number3
Early online date7 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Systemic value creation, sustainability, food waste, consumer movements, object pathways, value regimes

ID: 32145974