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Mobile apps as a sustainable shopping guide: : The effect of eco-score rankings on sustainable food choice

  • Consumers often struggle to assess food's environmental impact. A product ranking based on a standardized scoring approach (aggregating multiple indicators) that is easily accessible, for instance, via a mobile app, could serve as a simple decision aid for consumers. However, to avoid information overload, research is needed in which format such information should be presented. This paper examines how different information levels of an eco-score ranking influence decision uncertainty and sustainable food choice. In an online experiment (n = 332, representative by age and gender), we compared a basic eco-ranking and an extended eco-ranking (eco-rank plus additional indicators: transportation distance and eco-certifications) against a control group (no eco-ranking) in three different food categories: milk, juice, and eggs. The basic eco-ranking successfully lowered decision uncertainty compared to the two other groups. In contrast, the extended eco-ranking did not reduce consumers' decision uncertainty level. Further, the basic (extended) eco-ranking increased the likelihood of choosing a sustainable product by 26 (17) percentage points compared to the control group. Thus, providing access to a simple eco-ranking can help avoid information overload and increase sustainable consumption.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Anja WeberORCiD
Chairs and Professorships:Chair of Marketing Management and Sustainability
Parent Title (English):Appetite
Place of publication:Amsterdam
Publisher:Elsevier Ltd.
Year of Completion:2021
Tag:decision uncertainty; eco-score; mobile app; organic food; product ranking
Content Focus:Practitioner Audience
Peer Reviewed:Yes
Rankings:SJR Ranking / Q1
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich gesch├╝tzt