The relationship between in-store marketing and observed sales for organic versus fair trade products

E. van Herpen, J.E.M. van Nierop, L.M. Sloot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


To stimulate sales of sustainable products, such as organic and fair trade products, retailers need to know whether their in-store instruments effectively enhance market shares. This study uses sales data and a multilevel modeling approach to explain the market shares of sustainable products according to shelf layout factors, price level, price promotions, and consumer demographics. It argues that the effect of these variables differs between organic versus fair trade products, as buying motives might differ, organic buyers tend to be more loyal, and price is a more informative signal of quality for organic products. Results show that the number of facings has a positive relationship with the market share of fair trade brands, but not with the market share of organic brands. The same holds for the price difference with the leading brand, which is important for fair trade brands but not for organic brands. In contrast, an arrangement of the product category by brand is associated with higher market share for organic brands but not for fair trade brands. Additionally, placement at eye level and clustering of items benefits both types of sustainable brands, whereas they appear to be not very sensitive to price promotions. Finally, higher sales of sustainable products are found in areas where the customer base is older and has a higher education level. Keywords Organic . Fair trade . Shelf layout . Price promotions . Market share . Sales data
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-308
JournalMarketing Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • attribute-based approach
  • shelf-space
  • food-consumption
  • grocery stores
  • consumers care
  • assortment
  • management
  • coffee
  • purchases
  • choice


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