Can Product Information Steer towards Sustainable and Healthy Food Choices? A Pilot Study in an Online Supermarket

Nadine van der Waal*, Frans Folkvord, Rachid Azrout, Corine Meppelink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Sustainable dietary choices have become increasingly important because of the current envi-ronmental threats the world is facing. Nonetheless, consumers find it difficult to assess a product’s sustainability and therefore make better choices. This pilot study tested whether explanatory product information about sustainability increased sustainable purchases in an online super-market and whether additional health information increased message effectiveness. Perceived consumer effectiveness (i.e., the perception of the degree to which individual actions can contribute to environmental problems) and green skepticism were hypothesized to mediate the effect of message type, and environmental attitudes were included as the moderator. An experiment using a one-factor design was conducted among 101 participants who were assigned to one of three experimental conditions: sustainability claim only, explanatory sustainability claim, and ex-planatory sustainability and health claim. Analyses showed that an explanatory sustainability claim (regardless of whether this claim was accompanied by a health claim) led to fewer sus-tainable purchases through perceived consumer effectiveness but only for those with low envi-ronmental attitudes. No effects were found for the addition of a health claim. The results from this pilot provide insight for future studies that aim to examine how online supermarkets should communicate to increase sustainable purchases.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1107
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2022


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