Since a significant source of food waste on the consumer end is the reluctance to purchase or consume imperfect products, it is vital for businesses to learn how to affiliate their products with social and ecological causes. This study explores whether firms' communication of suboptimal food information to reduce food waste affects consumer perceptions and behaviors based on social exchange theory.
A factorial between-subjects experiment designed with 4 (environmental claims) × 3 (suboptimal food) is used to design 12 scenarios. The measurement scales of variables are adapted from the literature. ANCOVA and structural equation modelling (SEM) analyses were performed to test study hypotheses using a total of 745 valid samples collected via a web-based questionnaire after testing manipulation checks, reliability and validity.
Among the four types of environmental claims, product orientation and environmental fact claims improve consumers' attitudes, ethical judgments and purchase intentions toward suboptimal food. The effect of ethical judgments on purchase intention is higher than that of attitudes. Additionally, purchase intention is a vital predictor of sustainable consumption and plays a significant mediating role between the variables.
The findings of this study address gaps in the literature, which lacks investigations into the effects of communication information about suboptimal food on consumer attitudes and behaviors. Unlike traditional questionnaires using scale items to measure independent variables, the quasi-experimental design with stimulus materials used in this study can reveal the varied effects of different environmental claims.
The author would like to thank The Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan, R.O.C., for financially supporting this research under Grant No. MOST 110-2410-H-035–032 -MY2.
Chang, H.-H. (2022), "Effectiveness of environmental claims in preventing food waste: exploring consumer perspectives toward suboptimal food", Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/APJML-07-2022-0577
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