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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Less is more! The effect of sustainability information via mobile applications on sustainable food purchase decisions

Published: May 27, 2020


Anna-Katharina Jäger, HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management/Chair of Marketing Management; Anja Weber, HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management


Mobile Applications; Consumer Information; Organic Food


This paper examines if sustainability information apps are able to increase sustainable food consumption. An app providing consumers with an eco score ranking of products in different categories (milk, eggs, apple juice) as well as detailed information on different sustainability aspects for each product was developed. In an online experiment with a representative consumer sample (n = 332), the app was contrasted to a simplified product ranking only providing the products’ eco score. Compared to a control group, the app increases the likelihood of choosing a product with the highest eco score by 22 and 31 percentage points (eggs, apple juice), the ranking increased eco decisions by 22, 26, and 30 percentage points (milk, apple juice, eggs). Yet, only the simple product ranking was able to decrease consumers’ decision uncertainty. We therefore conclude that rather simpler decision aids should be implemented to increase sustainable consumption and avoid information overload.