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The Effect Of 'Organic' Labels On Consumer Perception Of Chocolates

Author

Listed:
  • Marietta Kiss

    (Universtiy of Debrecen, Faculty of Economics and Business)

  • Kontor Eniko

    (University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary, Institute of Leadership and Management Sciences, Faculty of Economics and Business)

  • Kun Andras Istvan

    (University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary, Institute of Leadership and Management Sciences, Faculty of Economics and Business)

Abstract

One of the most important success factors in the organic food industry is the positive image that a significant number of customers attach to organic products in many countries, which includes the perception of healthiness and also sensory characteristics such as smell, texture or taste. Several papers have examined the effect of organic certification on consumer perceptions for many types of products from a number of perspectives. The present study aims to reveal the effect of organic (‘bio’) labels on customers’ evaluation of chocolates regarding five product attributes: fragrance, taste, healthiness, calorie content and price. The two research questions are: (1) ‘How do consumers modify their perceptions about a given chocolate after receiving information as to whether the given chocolate is an organic or a non-organic product?’ and (2) ‘How do consumers’ evaluations of organic and non-organic chocolates relative to each other change after it is revealed which ones have an organic certificate?’ To find the answers an experiment was conducted on a sample of 32 second year bachelor university students from the ‘Commerce and Marketing’ major. During the experiment the students tasted 4 dark (2 regular and 2 organic) and 3 milk (2 regular and 1 organic) chocolates in two phases. In the first phase they had no information as to whether organic products were involved in the experiment, but in the second the organic products were labelled. The students had to evaluate fragrance, taste, healthiness, and calorie content, and estimate the price in both phases. The results show that ‘organic’ labels can significantly modify consumers’ perception and evaluation of chocolates with every attribute for one or more of the chocolates. Labelling can also widen the perceived gap between organic and regular chocolates according to fragrance, healthiness, calorie content and price. However, changes were identified only in the case of healthiness and price. Both were absolutely and relatively evaluated as higher for organic products after labelling.

Suggested Citation

  • Marietta Kiss & Kontor Eniko & Kun Andras Istvan, 2015. "The Effect Of 'Organic' Labels On Consumer Perception Of Chocolates," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(1), pages 448-457, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ora:journl:v:1:y:2015:i:1:p:448-457
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jayson L. Lusk & Brian C. Briggeman, 2009. "Food Values," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(1), pages 184-196.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    organic food; chocolate; food marketing; imperfect information;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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