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Insights into the organic labelling effect: the special case of wine

Janine Macht (Agricultural and Food Market Research, Institute for Food and Resource Economics, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany)
Jeanette Klink-Lehmann (Agricultural and Food Market Research, Institute for Food and Resource Economics, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany)
Betina Piqueras-Fiszman (Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Group, Social Sciences Group, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands)
Monika Hartmann (Agricultural and Food Market Research, Institute for Food and Resource Economics, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 21 December 2021

Issue publication date: 1 November 2022

598

Abstract

Purpose

While research shows that organic labels are perceived positively for most food products, the findings are more ambiguous for wine. This may be due to the complexity of the product. Accordingly, the labelling effect might be influenced by people's prior knowledge of wines and their attitudes towards organic wines and thus be more pronounced for certain consumer groups. Providing insights into those moderators could help to steer people towards sustainable wine consumption. Therefore, this paper aims to investigate the effect of organic labelling on consumers' liking of, and their willingness to pay (WTP) for white wine, and the role of potential moderators.

Design/methodology/approach

A wine tasting experiment was conducted using a within-subjects design (n = 214). The mediating role of expected liking and the moderating roles of subjective knowledge and attitude towards organic wine were analysed using the MEMORE macro in SPSS.

Findings

The results do not confirm an overall positive halo effect of labelling on liking of organic wine. Nevertheless, a positive halo effect on actual liking was observed for those respondents who have a positive attitude towards organic wine. Furthermore, an overall positive effect of organic labelling on WTP was found. Mediation effects could not be confirmed.

Originality/value

This study used an experimental design that considers not only expected liking but also actual liking and WTP for organic wines. Using a moderation-mediation framework helps to better understand consumers' quality evaluation and WTP for organic wine. Finally, it could be shown that the organic halo is more complex for the product category of wine than others have previously stated.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank all the people who assisted with the data collection and the three reviewers for insightful comments and suggestions that helped to improve the manuscript.

Citation

Macht, J., Klink-Lehmann, J., Piqueras-Fiszman, B. and Hartmann, M. (2022), "Insights into the organic labelling effect: the special case of wine", British Food Journal, Vol. 124 No. 11, pp. 3974-3992. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-04-2021-0378

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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