3.1 Consumer decision-making regarding a “green” everyday product

John Thøgersen , Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus University, Aarhus V, Denmark
Anne-Katrine Jørgensen , Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus University, Aarhus V, Denmark
Sara Sandager , Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus University, Aarhus V, Denmark
Full Papers
  • Consumer purchase of a green.pdf (183.7 kB)
  • When shopping for common, everyday consumer goods, consumers make decisions about brand choice in an extremely time-efficient way using simple, well-learned choice heuristics (Hoyer, 1984). Consumers are often assumed to be more involved when choosing “green” products, but does adding a “green” attribute actually make so much difference? Does it change the way consumers make decisions when buying groceries or do they just develop another, simple choice heuristics? Based on observation and follow-up interviews of consumers at the milk fridge in supermarkets, we conclude that consumers basically make their decision the same way irrespective of whether they by “green” (i.e., organic) or conventional milk. Consumers buying the “green” product are more likely than others to use multiple criteria in their choice, but the overall amount time and effort devoted to the decision-making in the store is not higher. However, about half of the consumers choosing the “green” alternative seem to have developed a choice heuristic based on the “green” attribute. Another nine percent said that they had developed a habit of buying the “green” product. Hence, rather than changing the way consumers make decisions when buying groceries, “green” attributes seem to lead to the development of new, simple choice heuristics or to the adaption of time-proven choice tactics, such as habit.