To read this content please select one of the options below:

Consumers' willingness to pay for ethical attributes

Li-Wei Mai (Department of Marketing and Business Strategy, Westminster Business School, London, UK)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 26 August 2014




In recent years, there has been a big increase in the use of ethical attributes as marketing appeals. The purpose of this paper is to examine consumers’ willingness to pay for three selected ethical attributes, namely “Organic”, “Recyclable Packaging” and “Fairtrade” in monetary terms.


A modified choice-based experimental design with manipulation of the key constructs was used to estimate the mean value of how much consumers are willing to pay for the selected attributes attached to a box of premium chocolates. The results are based on the responses of a total of 208 consumers.


Of the three attributes, “Recyclable Packaging” has the strongest influence on the purchase decision, although this attribute generates the least additional value. The aggregated result shows that although consumers are willing to pay more for the product with ethical attributes than the one that is without, still around a half of them are not willing to pay more. In terms of demographics, the results show no significant differences between the two genders or different age groups in their willingness to pay for ethical attributes. As might be expected, willingness to pay was correlated with the level of consciousness of the ethical attributes.


The findings of this study help management to think practically about the value consumers willing to pay for the selected attributes. The results show a significant synergy in a combination of ethical attributes in products.



Mai, L.-W. (2014), "Consumers' willingness to pay for ethical attributes", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 32 No. 6, pp. 706-721.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles