As we have mentioned, quality seals and clean labels require specific conditions to be met whereby companies need to consider their individual trade-off between the potential positive effects on consumer perceptions and the resources needed to fulfil their requirements. From a company’s perspective, meeting these requirements potentially leads to higher costs, for instance. Thus, as not all companies utilize quality seals on their packaging, we would like to answer the question of how relevant quality seals and labels are in comparison to other design elements in terms of sustainability or naturalness. How effective are quality seals compared to alternatives?
In our first post of the sustainable consumption blog series, we concluded that quality seals communicate sustainability, but consumers have limited knowledge of their meaning and an overly positive image of them. To draw more specific implications, we attempt to answer the question which quality seals and labels consumers accept the most when buying products. Do all quality seals serve the same positive effect? Finding answers to this question is especially relevant for companies as various quality seals require different levels of conditions to be met.
According to the United Nations (Hoballah & Averous, 2015), sustainable consumption is an integral part in ensuring that human actions stay within our planet’s capacity and therefore in considering the living conditions of future generations as well. As consumers, our individual buying-decisions can help fasten sustainable development in various industries making it an interesting research topic for us. Our first blog post series will summarize our research regarding quality seals, clean labels and product packaging design in the field of sustainability as well as the consumers‘ perceptions of such. Ultimately, we want to know, whether consumers accept and use quality seals in the purchase decisions. Further, we will outline implications for companies. While doing so, we will recap studies and their results in relation to each topic.