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


  • Peschel, Anne
  • Grebitus, Carola
  • Steiner, Bodo
  • Veeman, Michele


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

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  • Peschel, Anne & Grebitus, Carola & Steiner, Bodo & Veeman, Michele, 2016. "How does consumer knowledge affect environmentally sustainable choices? Evidence from a cross-country latent class analysis of food labels," MPRA Paper 69864, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:69864

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:8:p:1340-:d:106466 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:ecolec:v:140:y:2017:i:c:p:251-264 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Peschel, Anne O. & Grebitus, Carola & Colson, Gregory & Hu, Wuyang, 2016. "Explaining the use of attribute cut-off values in decision making by means of involvement," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 58-66.
    4. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:1:p:251-:d:127855 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:69:y:2017:i:c:p:46-57 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Grebitus, Carola & Steiner, Bodo & Veeman, Michele M., 2016. "Paying for sustainability: A cross-cultural analysis of consumers’ valuations of food and non-food products labeled for carbon and water footprints," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 50-58.
    7. Grebitus, Carola & Printezis, Iryna & Printezis, Antonios, 2017. "Relationship between Consumer Behavior and Success of Urban Agriculture," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 189-200.

    More about this item


    carbon footprint; food; latent class analysis; objective knowledge; subjective knowledge; water footprint;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects

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