Department of Management

Communicating organic food quality in China: Consumer perceptions of organic products and the effect of environmental value priming

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Consumers in emerging countries such as China play a crucial role for up-scaling improvements in the environmental impact of food production. So far little research has explored Chinese consumer reactions to organic food labels and whether Chinese consumer inferences can be favorably influenced by communication efforts. An online experiment studied the influence of the presence of organic labels as well as the influence of priming of environmental values on fruit and vegetable quality inferences. We find that Chinese consumers expect organic food to be more expensive and of a higher general quality compared to conventional food, but we do not find significantly higher health or taste inferences for organic products. When primed with environmental values, consumers with strong environmental values express higher quality and health inferences for organically labeled food. The results indicate that further efforts are needed to strengthen communication of organic food quality, and that focus should be given to the target group with strong environmental values.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Pages (from-to)102-108
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Research areas

  • Organic food, China, Priming, Environmental values, Value centrality, Product expectations

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