What determines a positive attitude towards natural food products? An expectancy theory approach
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Cleaner Production. 2021, 327, 129204. 10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.129204
Natural food products are becoming increasingly popular worldwide due to their health and environmental benefits. However, these products' increasing anecdotal popularity has not translated into their widespread adoption; in fact, demand for natural food products remains confined to a relatively small segment of consumers. Despite this, little is known about the facilitators and inhibitors of favourable attitude of consumers towards these products. Recognising this gap, our study employed the theoretical lens of expectancy theory to investigate these factors. Through an extensive review of the pro-environmental consumption literature, we identified four facilitating and inhibiting factors: health consciousness, environmental concern, natural content and price barrier. Our subsequent analysis of responses collected from 357 existing consumers of natural food products in the United States confirmed a statistically significant positive association of health consciousness and natural content with consumers' attitude towards natural food products and a statistically significant negative association of price barrier and attitude towards natural food products. To better understand the overall dynamics of these associations, we also examined the moderation effect of brand love and image barrier. Our results revealed that brand love moderates the association between health consciousness and attitude while image barrier moderates the association between price barrier and attitude. This study's findings make a novel contribution to research and practice related to natural food product consumption.