Purpose - The study assesses the impact of two different corporate social responsibility (CSR) claims, relating to social and environmental dimensions, on consumers’ wine choice across international markets. It is analysed how point of purchase CSR claims compete with other food claims and their awareness, penetration and consumers’ trust are examined. Design/methodology/approach - A discrete choice experiment with a visual shelf simulation was used to elicit consumer preferences and to estimate marginal willingness to pay for CSR and other food claims across the UK, France, Germany, the US Eastcoast, the US Midwest, Anglophone and Francophone Canada. Findings - CSR claims relating to social and environmental responsibility have a similar awareness, penetration and consumer trust, but differ in their impact on consumer choice, where environmental corporate responsibility claims benefit from a higher marginal willingness to pay. Consumer valuation of CSR claims significantly differs across international markets, but is consistently lower than for organic claims. Research limitations/implications - The study was limited to wine and future research is required to generalise findings to other food categories and different origins. Practical implications - CSR claims are competing with existing food claims and have a lower awareness, lower purchase penetration and less positive impact on consumer choice than organic claims. Producers are recommended to focus on communicating environmental rather than social CSR activities. The relative value of CSR claims differs across countries and companies need to adapt their strategies to specific market conditions. Originality/value - This is the first cross-national study that analyses the impact of CSR claims on consumer food choice relative to other food claims using large representative consumer samples. The strength of the paper also pertains to the utilisation of innovative choice experiments covering a large range of choice relevant product attributes.
British Food Journal, 2013, Vol 115, Issue 1, p. 142-161