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'I Eat Organic for My Benefit and Yours': Egoistic and Altruistic Considerations for Purchasing Organic Food and Their Implications for Advertising Strategists

44 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2013 Last revised: 22 Jan 2014

Ioannis Kareklas

State University of New York at Albany

Jeffrey Carlson

University of Connecticut

Darrel D. Muehling

Washington State University - Department of Marketing

Date Written: September 12, 2013

Abstract

Three empirical studies employ a novel adaptation of self-construal theory to explain the theoretical basis of factors that are shown to influence consumers’ organic food purchase decisions. Study 1 tests a structural model and reveals that egoistic, self-focused (e.g., personal health) and altruistic, others-focused (e.g., environmental) considerations simultaneously predict consumers’ attitudes and purchase intentions toward organic food. Study 2 findings indicate that while personal considerations are equally prevalent for conventional and green (including organic) purchase decisions, societal considerations play a more influential role for green/organic products. Study 3 extends these findings by testing advertising treatments utilizing egoistic and/or altruistic claims. Using advertising stimuli for a fictitious brand of organic meat, results show that an ad that features both egoistic and altruistic message appeals produces more favorable responses (brand and company attitudes and purchase intentions) than either an egoistic treatment or a control ad, but is equally effective to an ad featuring altruistic claims. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are presented and discussed.

Keywords: Food Advertising, Public Policy/Social Issues, Attitude, Consumer Response to Ads, Structural Equations/Path Analysis

Suggested Citation

Kareklas, Ioannis and Carlson, Jeffrey and Muehling, Darrel D., 'I Eat Organic for My Benefit and Yours': Egoistic and Altruistic Considerations for Purchasing Organic Food and Their Implications for Advertising Strategists (September 12, 2013). Journal of Advertising (2014), 43 (1), 18-32. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2325108

Ioannis Kareklas (Contact Author)

State University of New York at Albany ( email )

1400 Washington Ave
Albany, NY 12222
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.ioanniskareklas.com/

Jeffrey Carlson

University of Connecticut ( email )

Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

Darrel D. Muehling

Washington State University - Department of Marketing ( email )

367C Todd Addition
Pullman, WA 99164
United States
509-335-7302 (Phone)
509-335-3865 (Fax)

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