Religiosity and special food consumption: The explanatory effects of moral priorities

Elizabeth A. Minton, Kathryn Johnson, Richie L. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Special food consumption is on the rise–whether it be diet-minded foods (e.g., gluten-free, fat-free, sugar-free foods) or sustainably-minded foods (e.g., natural or organic foods). However, research has yet to examine how general religiosity and specific moral foundations might influence special food consumption. Through four studies, we seek to remedy this gap in the literature. In Study 1, we show that highly (less) religious consumers prefer diet-minded (sustainably-minded) foods. In Studies 2–4, we examine mediation through moral foundations to show that the moral foundation of purity mediates the relationship between religiosity and diet-minded food consumption; in contrast, the foundation of harm/care is unrelated to religiosity but significantly related to sustainably-minded food consumption. Implications for value-expressive motives theory, moral foundations theory, and marketing strategies are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-454
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Business Research
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • Food
  • Moral foundations
  • Morality
  • Religiosity
  • Sustainability
  • Value-expressive function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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