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Medici, Riccardo, 2021. Carbon footprint label impacts on consumers’ online food orders: : a field experiment in an Italian restaurant. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Economics

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Food consumption plays a key role for carbon emissions. Yet little is known about consumer responses to climate information in field settings. This study presents results from a natural field experiment in a restaurant to assess consumer behavior after the introduction of a carbon footprint label which identified and marked the least emitting option per category of the restaurant’s menu. The experimental design exploited different ordering channels of the restaurant (sit-down, take-away, and online), keeping as a control group external delivery platforms, such Deliveroo, JustEat and Foodracers (for which the label was not available). In addition, a message highlighting the introduction of the label was randomly emailed to different groups of customers. Data collection included five months for a baseline period and two months for a treatment period. Results show that labelling the climate-friendly option did not have a large effect on consumer choice when dining-out. However, when the online orders were investigated separately, the treatment had a small positive effect on this subgroup. I did not find evidence to validate the effect of the message sent via email. Overall, the results highlight that carbon labelling in restaurants is not a strong enough method to stand alone in achieving behaviour change among consumers. Given the evidence found, carbon labelling seems to be influential in online settings, however further research should be done. Providing additional information can be a cost-effective way of achieving more sustainable food consumption, but the effects will likely be small.

Main title:Carbon footprint label impacts on consumers’ online food orders:
Subtitle:a field experiment in an Italian restaurant
Authors:Medici, Riccardo
Supervisor:Rommel, Jens and Soregaroli, Claudio
Examiner:Hart, Robert
Series:Examensarbete / SLU, Institutionen för ekonomi
Volume/Sequential designation:1402
Year of Publication:2021
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM030 Agricultural, Food and Environmental Policy Analysis (AFEPA) - Master's Programme, 120.0hp
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Economics
Keywords:behavioral economics, food label, Italy, catering industry, climate change, carbon footprint, takeout
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Agricultural economics and policies
Consumer economics
Deposited On:22 Dec 2021 08:44
Metadata Last Modified:23 Dec 2021 02:00

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