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Message framing and consumer responses to organic seafood labeling

Courtney Cucchiara (Department of Consumer Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA.)
Soyeon Kwon (Department of Consumer Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA.)
Sejin Ha (Department of Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA.)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 5 May 2015

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of different label-message formats (positively vs negatively framed messages) on consumers’ purchase intentions in an organic seafood shopping setting, along with the moderating effects of two individual characteristics (purchase-decision involvement and perceived consumer effectiveness (PCE)) on the message-framing performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were gathered from 1,698 consumers of a supermarket chain in the northeast region of the USA using a web-based experiment.

Findings

Results of this study support the superiority of a positively framed message over a negatively framed message in persuading consumers to buy organic food. In addition, this effect of framing on persuasion is contingent upon different levels of consumer purchase-decision involvement as well as PCE concerning organic products.

Practical implications

This study offers managerial implications for marketers and retailers, messages appealing the environmental and health benefits of organic seafood consumption (positively framed arguments) would be more persuasive to increase consumer purchase intention than negatively framed ones. In addition, individual characteristics of their target market should be taken into account in communication design and implementation.

Originality/value

This survey research offers insights into the organic food consumption literature by validating the applicability of message framing in the organic seafood labelling setting and identifying consumers’ individual characteristics (purchase-decision involvement regarding organic seafood and PCE) moderating the message framing effectiveness.

Keywords

Citation

Cucchiara, C., Kwon, S. and Ha, S. (2015), "Message framing and consumer responses to organic seafood labeling", British Food Journal, Vol. 117 No. 5, pp. 1547-1563. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-07-2014-0261

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited