Sustainability labels on coffee: Consumer preferences, willingness-to-pay and visual attention to attributes

Ellen J. Van Loo*, Vincenzina Caputo, Rodolfo M. Nayga, Han Seok Seo, Baoyue Zhang, Wim Verbeke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

196 Citations (Scopus)


Sustainability labels are important tools that help consumers assess the sustainability aspects of food. While past studies have focused on visual attention to nutrition information, no study has investigated the visual attention paid by consumers to the sustainability information on food. Our study contributes to the need to better understand consumers' attention to sustainability information when making food choices. The objective was to explore the importance that consumers attach to sustainability attributes and investigate how this relates to the visual attention paid to these attributes during the choice decision and to willingness-to-pay (WTP). Visual attention during the decision making process was measured in terms of fixation time and fixation count, which were then analyzed in relation to the stated attribute importance. Our results suggest that consumer segments with differences in stated attribute importance, visually attend differently to these attributes. Higher valued attributes also exhibited higher visual attention. Our results suggest that consumers who spend more time attending to and fixate more on sustainability attributes value them more.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-225
Number of pages11
JournalEcological Economics
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Eye-tracking
  • Fair trade
  • Sustainability labels
  • Sustainable certified coffee
  • Visual attention
  • Willingness-to-pay


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