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Consumer Perceptions of Eco-friendly and Sustainable Terms

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 September 2016

Benjamin Campbell*
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at University of Connecticut
Hayk Khachatryan
Department of Food and Resource Economics at Mid-Florida Research and Education Center, University of Florida
Bridget Behe
Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University
Jennifer Dennis
Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture and the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University
Charles Hall
Department of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M University
Correspondence: University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics ▪ 1376 Storrs Road, Unit 4021 ▪ Storrs, CT 06269 ▪ Phone 860.486.1925 ▪ Email
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Common marketing strategies include emphasizing products’ “green” or environmentally friendly attributes and characteristics to appeal to a growing market of environmentally conscious consumers. While previous studies have used product labels such as “eco-friendly,” “environmentally friendly,” and “sustainable” to investigate consumer preferences, relatively little is known about how consumer perceptions as a pre-decision mechanism impact their preferences and choice behaviors. Using data collected through an online survey of U.S. and Canadian consumers, we investigate systematic differences in individuals’ perceptions of the terms “eco-friendly” and “sustainable.” Marketing implications for the food and green (i.e., greenhouse/nursery producers, suppliers, and retailers) industries are discussed.

Research Article
Copyright © 2015 Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association 

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