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Effects of a documentary on consumer perception of the environmental impact of meat consumption

Andreas Bschaden (Department of Applied Nutritional Psychology, Institute of Clinical Nutrition, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany)
Eduardo Mandarano (Department of Applied Nutritional Psychology, Institute of Clinical Nutrition, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany)
Nanette Stroebele-Benschop (Department of Applied Nutritional Psychology, Institute of Clinical Nutrition, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 21 July 2020

Issue publication date: 24 December 2020

1205

Abstract

Purpose

Meat consumption causes a large amount of global greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental problems. Studies showed that consumers underestimate the environmental impact of meat consumption compared to other food-related behaviours. A video intervention was conducted to investigate the effect of information on consumers' perception and behaviour.

Design/methodology/approach

Two didactically different videos about meat and the environment and a control video were shown to 189 participants. Ratings about the environmental impact of different food-related behaviours as well as participants' meat consumption frequency were obtained directly before, one week later and one year after the screening by self-report questionnaires.

Findings

Mean rating of the environmental impact of meat consumption was second to the least important of the different food consumption patterns. In the first intervention group, the rating increased significantly (p = 0.001) after having watched the video. There was no such effect in the second intervention or the control group. Self-reported meat consumption frequency did not change significantly in any of the groups. No long-term differences between the groups could be found.

Research limitations/implications

The results suggest that there is still a lack of knowledge concerning the environmental impact of meat consumption. Providing information can affect awareness, depending on the type of information delivery. The circumstances under which information encourages behaviour change need to be further explored.

Originality/value

This is the first study that investigated the impact of different videos about environmental impacts of meat consumption on consumer perceptions and behaviour.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank all study participants, and the teachers of the participating vocational schools for organising the study appointments.Funding:The study was supported by a small stipend by the Geschwister-Stauder-Schenkung, a university-based foundation supporting environmental protection research.

Citation

Bschaden, A., Mandarano, E. and Stroebele-Benschop, N. (2021), "Effects of a documentary on consumer perception of the environmental impact of meat consumption", British Food Journal, Vol. 123 No. 1, pp. 177-189. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-02-2020-0138

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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