Do "good" food products make others look "bad"? Spin-off effects of labels for sustainable food production in the consumer perception

M.H.A. Binnekamp, P.T.M. Ingenbleek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Abstract Purpose ¿ The objective of this study is to examine whether sustainability labels like Fair Trade have a spin-off effect to mainstream products in the consumer perception: do consumers perceive mainstream products and brands more negatively in the presence of a product with a sustainability label? Design/methodology/approach ¿ Five scientific experiments were conducted to test the spin-off effect of products with sustainability labels on evaluations of mainstream products. Experiments vary with respect to product category, label, respondents, and stimuli. Next, a focus group study was conducted to further explain the findings. Findings ¿ The results show that a spin-off effect of sustainability labels in the consumer perception is unlikely. None of the experiments shows a significant spin-off effect, neither directly, nor under the conditions of quality differences between supermarkets, search behaviour of consumers, presence of competing labels, and different involvement categories. Also, a variety of different types of stimuli (scenarios and visual) and research designs (experiments and focus group interviews) did not reveal the hypothesized effect. Research limitations/implications ¿ The results imply that retailers¿ fears for a negative spin-off effect of products with sustainability labels to the rest of the assortment hold little ground. Although the evidence is consistent over different designs, stimuli, contexts, and dependent variables, only a limited range of stimuli-method combinations is tested. Originality/value ¿ This study is the first to investigate the existence of a spin-off effect from products with a sustainability label to mainstream products. Keywords Labelling, Consumer behaviour, Sustainable development, Food products
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-864
JournalBritish Food Journal
Volume110
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • corporate social-responsibility
  • information
  • satisfaction
  • consumption
  • liking

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Do "good" food products make others look "bad"? Spin-off effects of labels for sustainable food production in the consumer perception'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this