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Consumer Understanding about Sustainability Labelling on Food Products

Department of Food Business Management and Entrepreneurship Development, National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM), Sonipat-131 028 (Haryana), India
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(Received: May 10, 2023; Accepted: July 11, 2023)


Consumers are increasingly concerned about sustainability and its environmental impact during food purchasing. Sustainable features of products are communicated to consumers via sustainability labels. Consumers are increasingly aware of sustainability issues and want to make environmentally conscious choices. Consumers expect labels to provide nutritional, ethical, environmental and animal welfare information. Sustainability concerns on environmental and ethical parameters are understood differently by consumers. Some consumers perceive sustainability labels and their meanings well, while others have trouble understanding it. The present study was carried out to study consumer understanding about sustainability in context to environmental and ethical concerns and to understand consumer perception about sustainability label on food products. This emphasised the need for clear and standardised labelling systems that improved comprehension and enabled informed decision-making to consumers. Results revealed that consumer had similar understanding about sustainability on both environmental and ethical parameters. Majority of the consumers understood sustainability labels on food products to be environment-friendly, trust worthy and safe to consume. This study concluded that sustainable consumption patterns required consumer understanding about sustainability labels. Clear and informative labels can empower consumers to make environmentally responsible choices. Consistency, transparency and trustworthiness in labelling practises can be improved. Future research should focus on innovative ways to improve consumer awareness and understanding about sustainability labels to promote sustainable production and consumption in food products.
Key words : Sustainability labelling, food labelling, consumer understanding, sustainable consumption, purchasing decisions