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Consumer inferences of corporate social responsibility (CSR) claims on packaged foods

Wei Wei, Gaeul Kim, Li Miao, Carl Behnke and Barbara Almanza

Journal of Business Research, 2018, vol. 83, issue C, 186-201

Abstract: Food packages have emerged as an important Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) communication tool. This study examined the effect of on-package CSR claims on consumers' health benefits perceptions, taste perception, attitude and behavioral intentions toward the food company. A 4 (CSR claims: none, food manufacturing, employee welfare, and eco-friendly packaging) by 2 (type of food: essential vs. indulgent) factorial experimental study was conducted to test the hypotheses. The findings demonstrate that consumer-oriented CSR claim (food manufacturing) is most strongly associated with consumers' health benefits perception, whereas employee-oriented CSR claim (employee welfare) is most strongly linked to taste perception and attitude toward the company. All CSR claims were found to positively influence consumers' intentions to purchase and willingness to pay premium. Additional content analysis of the textual data indicated that the employee welfare CSR was most positively perceived. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility (CSR); Consumer inferences; Business strategy; Health benefits; Taste; Food package (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:83:y:2018:i:c:p:186-201