I’m a second-year PhD candidate, thesis titled ‘Understanding the consumer behaviour towards plant-based foods: An application of capability, opportunity, motivation and behaviour (COM-B) model in an Australian context’. My PhD research uses a mixed-methods approach (online surveys and focus groups) to collect data from Australian consumers to examine their behaviours towards vegetarian/plant-based (PB) foods. My thesis is based on a Theoretical domains framework, particularly on the COM-B model, to understand the relationship between factors influencing PB foods behaviours. Also, my research will provide a profile of Australian PB foods buyers by dividing them into different consumer dietary types, such as vegetarians, lacto-vegetarian, lacto-ovo-vegetarians, pesco-vegetarians and vegans.
In 2019, I completed my Masters by Thesis, titled ‘Factors influencing buying behaviour of organic food: An empirical study of young consumers in India’ from Southern Cross University. My key areas of interest include consumer behaviour, marketing, organic foods, vegetarianism, plant-based foods, and sustainable diets. Being a lacto-vegetarian, mother of three children, and having a passion for cooking vegetarian/vegan foods lead me to these research topics.
I have worked as a Research Assistant on several projects at Southern Cross University, mainly data collection, quantitative data analysis using SPSS and designing an online survey in ‘Qualtrics’ and writing findings. I have also worked as a Casual Academic for the Marketing Principles unit. I have published some conference papers in an internationally reputed marketing conference, ‘Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference (ANZMAC)’. Below is my published work to date:
- Matharu, G, von der Heidt, T & Sorwar, G 2017, ‘Factors influencing buying behaviour of organic food products’, in L Robinson, L Brennan & M Reid (eds.), Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference (ANZMAC) 2017: Marketing for Impact, RMIT University, Melbourne, 4-6 Dec 2017, pp. 131-136, https://anzmac.wildapricot.org/2017-Conference-Proceedings
- Matharu, G, von der Heidt, T & Sorwar, G 2018, ‘Antecedents of organic food products intention and behaviour', in J Conduit, C Plewa & D Wilkie (eds.), Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference (ANZMAC) 2018: Connect Engage Transform, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, 3-5 Dec 2018, pp. 174-177, https://anzmac2018.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/ANZMAC2018-Proceedings.pdf
- Matharu, GK 2019, 'Factors influencing buying behaviour of organic food: an empirical study of young consumers in India', MA thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, https://epubs.scu.edu.au/theses/661/
- Matharu, GK, von der Heidt, T & Sorwar, G 2019, ‘Cultural values and organic food in India', in JE Richard & D Kadirov (eds.), Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference (ANZMAC) 2019: Winds of Change, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, 2-4 Dec 2019, https://confer.nz/anzmac2019/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/ANZMAC-2019-Final-Proceedings.pdf