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Do front-of-pack ‘green labels’ increase sustainable food choice and willingness-to-pay in U.K. consumers?

Duckworth, JJ, Randle, M, McGale, LS, Jones, A, Doherty, B, Halford, JCG and Christiansen, P (2022) Do front-of-pack ‘green labels’ increase sustainable food choice and willingness-to-pay in U.K. consumers? Journal of Cleaner Production, 371. pp. 1-13. ISSN 0959-6526

Do front-of-pack ‘green labels’ increase sustainable food choice and willingness-to-pay in U.K. consumers.pdf - Published Version
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Open Access URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.133466 (Published version)


Aim: In a series of pre-registered online studies, we aimed to elucidate the magnitude of the effect of general sustainability labels on U.K. consumers’ food choices.
Methods: Four labels were displayed: ‘Sustainably sourced’, ‘Locally sourced’, ‘Environmentally friendly’, and ‘Low greenhouse gas emissions’. To ensure reliable results, contingency valuation elicitation was used alongside a novel analytical approach to provide a triangulation of evidence: Multilevel-modelling compared each label vs. no-label; Poisson-modelling compared label vs. label. Socioeconomic status, environmental awareness, health motivations, and nationalism/patriotism were included in our predictive models.
Results: Exp.1 Multilevel-modelling (N = 140) showed labelled products were chosen 344% more than non-labelled and consumers were willing-to-pay ∼£0.11 more, although no difference between label types was found. Poisson-modelling (N = 735) showed consumers chose Sustainably sourced and Locally sourced labels ∼20% more often but were willing-to-pay ∼£0.03 more only for Locally sourced products. Exp.2 was a direct replication. Multilevel-modelling (N = 149) showed virtually identical results (labels chosen 344% more, willingness-to-pay ∼£0.10 more), as did Poisson-modelling (N = 931) with Sustainably sourced and Locally sourced chosen ∼20% more and willingness-to-pay ∼£0.04 more for Locally sourced products. Environmental concern (specifically the ‘propensity to act’) was the only consistent predictor of preference for labelled vs. non-labelled products.
Conclusions: Findings suggest front-of-pack ‘green labels’ may yield substantive increases in consumer choice alongside relatively modest increases in willingness-to-pay for environmentally-sustainable foods. Specifically, references to ‘sustainable’ or ‘local’ sourcing may have the largest impact.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0907 Environmental Engineering; 0910 Manufacturing Engineering; 0915 Interdisciplinary Engineering; Environmental Sciences
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
T Technology > TX Home economics > TX341 Nutrition. Foods and food supply
Divisions: Psychology (from Sep 2019)
Publisher: Elsevier BV
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2022 12:31
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2022 12:31
DOI or ID number: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.133466
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18042
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