Advertising effectiveness in conventional and organic food markets. Is matching or mismatching product and claim types more effective?

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The purpose of this thesis was to inform consumers about products that are healthy and sustainable in order to influence their consumption choices. The thesis examined how marketers can use taste and nutrition claims in advertising to make healthier and sustainable food products more appealing to consumers. Guided by conflicting results in prior literature, this study investigated whether a match or a mismatch between product and claim type was more effective. The study employed a 2 × 2 × 2 experimental design to compare the impact of a nutrition claim to the impact of a taste claim on different food types (perceived unhealthy versus perceived healthy) and different food categories (conventional versus organic). Respondents were gathered using an online questionnaire in which they were randomly assigned to the experimental conditions. The results from the manipulation check showed that the claims were not perceived as intended. These results have influenced the results of the main analyses in such a way that the researcher was unable to accept or reject any of the stated hypotheses. The results from additional analyses showed that advertising ads with nutrition claims was more effective than advertising ads with taste claims, providing marketers with an opportunity to advertise their healthy and sustainable foods more effectively. Given the current food trends, this should benefit society by improving personal and environmental health. More research is needed to explore the impact of combining product and claim type in both conventional and organic food markets. Future research should try to find advertising strategies particularly effective in marketing healthy and sustainable foods for the benefit of society at large.
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