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

Anne O. Peschel, Carola Grebitus, Bodo Steiner, Michele Veeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper examines consumers’ knowledge and lifestyle profiles and preferences regarding two environmentally labeled food staples, potatoes and ground beef. Data from online choice experiments conducted in Canada and Germany are analyzed through latent class choice modeling 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-91
Number of pages14
JournalAppetite
Volume106
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

Keywords

  • Carbon footprint
  • Food
  • Latent class analysis
  • Objective knowledge
  • Subjective knowledge
  • Water footprint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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