Munich Personal RePEc Archive

How does consumer knowledge affect environmentally sustainable choices? Evidence from a cross-country latent class analysis of food labels

Peschel, Anne and Grebitus, Carola and Steiner, Bodo and Veeman, Michele (2016): How does consumer knowledge affect environmentally sustainable choices? Evidence from a cross-country latent class analysis of food labels. Forthcoming in: Appetite (2016)

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Abstract

This paper examines consumers' knowledge and lifestyle profiles and preferences regarding two environmentally labelled food staples, potatoes and ground beef. Data from online choice experiments conducted in Canada and Germany are analyzed through latent class choice modelling to identify the influence of consumer knowledge (subjective and objective knowledge as well as usage experience) on environmentally sustainable choices. We find that irrespective of product or country under investigation, high subjective and objective knowledge levels drive environmentally sustainable food choices. Subjective knowledge was found to be more important in this context. Usage experience had relatively little impact on environmentally sustainable choices. Our results suggest that about 20 % of consumers in both countries are ready to adopt footprint labels in their food choices. Another 10 - 20% could be targeted by enhancing subjective knowledge, for example through targeted marketing campaigns.

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