The effect of information provision on supermarket consumers' use of and preferences for carbon labels in Germany

Agnes Emberger-Klein, Klaus Menrad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

To limit climate change, significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are needed. Changes to consumer behavior could be one strategy to reach emission reduction targets. In this context, the role of information is crucial. One way of informing consumers about the climate impact of their food choices is through labels on the packaging. Providing additional information about labels or climate friendly food behavior directly before the product choice is made can stimulate the use of and preferences for carbon labels. The main aim of this study was to analyze the effect of information provision on supermarket consumers in Germany and their use of and preferences for carbon labels. It was also studied which types of carbon labels consumers prefer and how important these labels are as a criterion for the product choice. Data from a focus group workshop and two in-store surveys, including a pair wise comparison experiment and two Discrete-Choice Experiments, were used. The results show that providing additional information about labels can enhance the use of these labels and increase consumers' focus on the labels when making their product choice. It can also influence the general decision to buy or not buy a product and the preferences for the existence of a label. Consumers prefer carbon labels which use a scale and a traffic light color system. However, carbon labels are generally not important in consumers' decision-making process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-263
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume172
DOIs
StatePublished - 20 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Carbon footprint label
  • Consumer
  • Information effect
  • Preferences

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