UBC Undergraduate Research

Comparing Multidimensional Sustainability Food Labels with One-dimensional Labels on Consumers’ Willingness to Pay Park, Jong Yong; Chu, Sharon; Ren, Lucia; Leonora, Devina; Azzam, Salma; Zaidel, Taylor


The present study investigated consumers' willingness to pay for sustainable food products when using multidimensional environmental labels versus one-dimensional and no labels. Given that one-dimensional labels are often used to depict food sustainability, the current study aimed to address barriers of one-dimensionality eco food labels’ incomprehensiveness, as well as a lack of a conventional and understandable multidimensional eco-label. We obtained data using an online Qualtrics survey which included 155 undergraduate participants (M age= 21.4, 58.4% Female) recruited through convenience sampling. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: multidimensional, one-dimensional, and no label (control). We used repeated-measures ANOVAs, posthoc Tukey’s test, Holm’s test, and independent samples t-tests to compare the willingness to pay for four different food items with labels depending on the conditions. We hypothesized that compared to one-dimensional and no label conditions, consumers with pay more for highly sustainable food products when labelled with a multidimensional eco-label and less for multidimensionally labelled food products that were less sustainable. We found that labels did significantly impact consumers’ willingness to pay. However, contrary to our hypothesis, we found that only one-dimensional eco-labels were significantly associated with consumers’ willingness to pay. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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