Publications

Attribute Segmentation and Communication Effects on Healthy and Sustainable Consumer Diet Intentions

Verain, Muriel; Sijtsema, Siet; Dagevos, Hans; Antonides, Gerrit

Summary

A shift towards more sustainable consumer diets is urgently needed. Dietary guidelines state that changes towards less animal-based and more plant-based diets are beneficial in terms of sustainability and, in addition, will have a positive effect on public health. Communication on these guidelines should be most effective when tailored to the motivations of specific consumer segments. Therefore, the current study (1) segments consumers based on the importance they attach to sustainability, health, taste and price of food in several food categories; and (2) tests different ways (with health arguments, sustainability arguments, or both) of communicating the dietary guideline. Three segments have been identified: pro-self, average, and sustainable conscious consumers. For pro-self and average consumers, the communication of both health and sustainability benefits made them think most about sustainability, although communication did not result in changes in dietary intentions in these segments. For sustainable conscious consumers, intention to reduce their meat consumption increased when both health and sustainability benefits were<br/>communicated. These research outcomes indicate the importance of segmentation research in the development of dietary messages. In addition, the findings show the importance of taking product category differences into account in studying consumer food motivations and intentions.