To meat or not to meat? Comparing empowered meat consumers’ and anti-consumers’ preferences for sustainability labels

Chrysostomos Apostolidis, Fraser McLeay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
44 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

An increasing awareness of the impact of high levels of meat consumption on health and environmental sustainability is leading to a growing number of consumers reducing or avoiding meat. To address gaps in the literature, we compare and contrast the importance of the seven sustainability-related labels for three consumer groups (meat eaters, meat reducers and vegetarians) using a choice experiment involving 600 UK respondents (200 meat eaters, 200 meat reducers, 200 vegetarians). Type of meat, price and fat content labels have the largest overall impact on consumer choices. The impact of carbon footprint, method of production, origin and brand labels varies across consumer groups.

We subsequently use latent class analysis to identify heterogeneous intra-group consumer segments, based on their preferences, and highlight the socio-demographic differences between them. For meat eaters, three consumer segments are identified (empowered, traditional and price conscious meat eaters). Meat reducers are divided into health curtailers and sustainable consumers, while only one segment of vegetarians is identified. By drawing on signalling theory and the consumer empowerment and anti-consumption literature, we identify links between sustainable consumption, consumer empowerment and anti-consumption and provide valuable insights for policymakers and practitioners seeking to utilise food labels to encourage more sustainable consumption.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-122
Number of pages14
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Volume77
Early online date24 Apr 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019

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