“Palm oil free” vs “sustainable palm oil”: the impact of claims on consumer perception

Donata Tania Vergura (Department of Economics and Management, University of Parma, Parma, Italy)
Cristina Zerbini (Department of Economics and Management, University of Parma, Parma, Italy)
Beatrice Luceri (Department of Economics and Management, University of Parma, Parma, Italy)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Publication date: 2 September 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The palm oil debate has become highly polarised in recent years and is of crucial importance for multinationals and their policies. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the consumers’ response towards product packs communicating this food ingredient in different ways: through “palm oil free” and “with sustainable palm oil” claims or without mentioning it.

Design/methodology/approach

A mail survey with a sample of 191 consumers was conducted. Respondents were equally and randomly distributed among the experimental conditions. The hypotheses were tested by a between-subjects factorial design.

Findings

Results revealed that consumer exposed to the “palm oil free” products showed a lower risk perception compared to those exposed to the “with sustainable palm oil” products and to products without claim. Moreover, the product evaluation was better in the “palm oil free” condition compared to the “with sustainable palm oil” condition. No differences emerged in attitude, expected tastiness and willingness to pay.

Research limitations/implications

The study sheds light on the consumer valuation of palm oil products and provides some useful managerial implications to manufacturers and product managers.

Originality/value

Results enrich the literature on food claims on pre-packaged foods as the source of information and on consumers’ perception towards palm oil.

Keywords

Citation

Vergura, D., Zerbini, C. and Luceri, B. (2019), "“Palm oil free” vs “sustainable palm oil”: the impact of claims on consumer perception", British Food Journal, Vol. 121 No. 9, pp. 2027-2035. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-01-2019-0020

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.