How can environmental information align consumer behaviour with attitude? Evidence from a field experiment

Using an incentive compatible field experiment, we investigate whether consumer attitudes translate into more corresponding environmentally friendly behaviour when one of the substantial barriers towards environmental food sustainability, i.e. low effectiveness of information provision, is removed. We develop multi-criteria environmental information cards and test their effectiveness in delivering and communicating information through an on-line choice experiment. The environmental information card that was found to be most effective in communicating information is then used in an experimental market and appears to have the potential to effectively steer consumers towards more environmentally friendly food purchases. When consumers shop in the experimental market with the most effective environmental information card installed, switching behaviour towards more environmentally friendly food products is observed. In addition, effective environmental information cards have the ability to increase the overall environmental friendliness of consumers’ food baskets. These findings highlight the potential for policy makers to enlarge the environmentally friendly consumer segment through the provision of easy-to-interpret and standardized environmental information.

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Working or Discussion Paper
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JEL Codes:
C93; D12; Q18; Q56; Q57
Series Statement:
Bioeconomics Working Paper Series

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2019-08-29

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