Research focus at Consumer Sciences: CON-WELL

CON-WELL focuses on enhancing consumer interests and well-being in South Africa. The diversity of the South African consumer population and the functioning of these consumers in an emerging economy motivate research that aims to ensure their well-being with respect to products and services. We address the well-being and interests of consumers by empowering them to make informed decisions as conscious consumers in a unique multicultural environment. Research in this project is undertaken from a consumer perspective with consumer behaviour as the keystone of all research.


The aim of CON-WELL is to assist consumers to effectively and optimally make decisions to become responsible, conscious consumers.  Consumer behaviour research serves as a means to reach the above aim. 


Our team

Prof Daleen van der Merwe – Researcher

Prof Annchen Mielmann – Researcher

Prof Hanli de Beer – Researcher

Dr Eloïse Botha – Researcher

Dr Heleen Dreyer – Researcher

Dr Minnet du Preez – Researcher

Dr Neoline le Roux – Researcher

Miss Cherelle Abrahams – Researcher

Miss Carike Brits - Researcher

Mrs Annemie Niemann - Researcher

Mrs Louise Wyma – Researcher




Current research projects
CON-WELL is involved in refined projects based on different consumer-related problems. These problems are timely and relevant to the South African and international context. A research problem or project is approached by a team of researchers with expertise in different areas. Our main target population is consumers in South Africa from different demographic subgroups with respect to gender, age, level of education, income and ethnicity.

The following titles of current and recently completed projects give an overview of typical research conducted within the CON-WELL team, which is clustered into our three outcomes:

1. Optimising available resources by assisting consumers to employ suitable coping and decision-making strategies.

Koch, N. 2022. Decision-making styles of woman in the context of purchasing clothing. Supervisor: Dr N. le Roux, Co-supervisor: Dr M. du Preez - Master's study.

Beukman, S. 2021. Retail food environments, purchasing patterns, and nutritional status of consumers living in Potchefstroom, South Africa. Supervisor: L.Wyma; co-supervisors: Dr P.H. Myburg; Prof S.M. Ellis - Master’s study.

Brits, C.C.  2020.  E-tailing: Consumers’ perceived risks and coping strategies – a study performed in Potchefstroom, North West Province. Supervisor: Dr. N. le Roux, co-supervisors: Dr. H. van Staden; H. Dreyer -  Master’s study.

Nel, M. 2020.  The role of knowledge on the effect of external influences on the food information search of working female consumers. Supervisor: Prof. D. van der Merwe, co-supervisor: Dr. H. de Beer -  Master’s study.

Sousa, N. V. 2020. Challenges and coping strategies of employed female consumers during household purchases decisions. Supervisor: Dr. M. du Preez, co-supervisor: Dr. N. le Roux -  -  Master’s study.

Le Roux, N. 2018. Profiling consumers within a corporate South African context according to their decision-making, physical and psycho-social well-being. Promoter: Prof M van der Merwe, co-promoters: Prof MP Wissing; Prof C Wilders. – PhD study.

Harmse, J. 2018. Exploring the challenges income-earning households experience regarding household food security in the Vaalharts Irrigation Scheme. Supervisor: Dr. H. de Beer, co-supervisor: Dr. A. Mielmann - Master’s study.

Marx, I. 2018. Consumers’ subjective and objective knowledge of genetically modified food in a South African context. Supervisor: L. Wyma, co-supervisors: E. Botha, Prof. C.D. Viljoen  - Master’s study.

2. Allowing them to become conscious consumers in their behaviour (e.g. use, purchasing, decision-making).

Botha, E. 2023. A consumer infant vaccination decision model in South Africa. Promotor: Prof. D. van der Merwe; co-promotors: Prof. R.J. Burnett and Prof. P. Bester.  - PhD study.

Dreyer, H. 2023. Towards an understanding of shades of green consumer behaviour in South Africa: A social-cognitive approach. Promoter: Prof. M. van der Merwe; co-promoter: Dr N.C. Sonnenberg. - PhD study.

Abrahams, C. 2021. Health-consciousness of working female consumers in relation to their perceived healthiness and selection of packaged foods. Supervisor: Prof. D. van der Merwe; co-supervisor: Dr. M. Wicks -  Master’s study.

Du Preez, Y. 2021. The motivation for healthy lifestyle habits, amongst South African urban corporate consumers. Supervisor: Prof. D. van der Merwe; co-supervisor: Prof. A. Mielmann -  Master’s study.

Van Zyl, T. 2021. Development of emotion lexicons for consumers’ taster status to describe sugar-free chocolate. Supervisor: Prof. A. Mielmann; co-supervisor: Dr. N. le Roux - Master’s study.

Taljaard, I. 2020. Exploring the relationship between selected internal consumer behaviour variables and the emotional response to the sensory properties of chocolate. Promoter: Prof. A. Mielmann, co-promoter: Dr. N. le Roux – PhD study.

Van den Berg, MS. 2018. Consumers’ knowledge and utilisation practices regarding plastic food and beverage packaging and containers. Supervisor: Prof. M. van der Merwe, co-supervisor: L. Wyma - Master’s study.

Botha, J. 2017. Understanding the motives of consumers employed at a nutrition company for choosing sugared dairy products. Supervisor: Dr. A. Mielmann, co-supervisor: H. Dreyer - Master’s study.

3. Striving towards sustainability to enhance consumers’ interests and well-being through consumer education and policy-changing efforts.

Peters, C. 2023. Linking the lack of tactile sensory cues to consumers’ emotions in e-commerce clothing purchases: A cross-cultural study. Supervisor: Prof. A. Mielmann, co-supervisors: Dr M. du Preez and Miss Carike Brits. - Master's study.

Coetzee, N. 2019. Employing developed sewing training material in an intervention for low-literate participants of rural income generating projects. Promoter: Dr H van Staden, co-promoters: Prof W Oldewage-Theron; Dr C Niesing  - PhD study. 

Van Zyl, SD. 2018. Consumers’ food label behaviour: A preventive and interventive educational model for informed decision making. Promoter: Prof M van der Merwe, co-promoter: Prof SM Hanekom – PhD study.




Study with us

Students enrolled for a Master of Consumer Sciences or PhD in Consumer Sciences are currently accommodated in CON-WELL. For further information, contact Prof Daleen van der Merwe.