“I’ll try the veggie burger”: Increasing purchases of sustainable foods with information about sustainability and taste


Food production–especially raising animals for meat–has a massive negative impact on the environment and contributes to global warming. To address this, we investigated whether information about food sustainability would increase purchases of sustainable foods by patrons of university caf ́es. In Study 1, patrons were randomly assigned either to see a menu that had sustainability labels indicating the degree of environmental impact of each item, or to see a menu without labels. Women who saw the labels were significantly more likely to purchase sustainable foods, whereas men were not influenced by the labels. In Study 2 we targeted one sustainable menu item (a veggie burger) and, in a 2 (sustainability) x 2 (taste) design, varied whether patrons learned that the veggie burger was especially sustainable or especially tasty. Women were significantly more likely to purchase the veggie burger if they learned it was sustainable or tasty, but again, the manipulations had no effect on men. We discuss why women are more likely to change their food choices to eat more sustainably than are men.