Evaluating Consumer Response to Environmental Labels on Packaging Using Eye-Tracking
Smith, Stephanie Anne
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Labeling is one way consumers evaluate products for purchase. Environmental labeling is used to provide environmental information to the consumer. If a person is familiar with a particular labeling process they may be more inclined to consume such product. This study used the Tobii© T60 eye-tracking system to determine differences in gaze durations and time to first fixation between the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) label and an unsubstantiated label. Labels were placed on two different products (toilet paper and paper plates) and four locations (top-right corner, bottom-right corner, top-left corner, and bottom-left corner). Additionally, after the participants viewed the images they were asked to complete the six-question GREEN Consumer Values scale and then asked to sort eighteen different images based on label type and price. Participants did not differentiate between the two labels. Labels placed in the bottom-right corner received the least amount of attention (as measured by fixation duration) when compared to labels placed in the other three corners. Eye-tracking data was then split at the median and two groups were created: low label fixators versus high label fixators. High label fixators scored overall higher on the GREEN Consumer Values scale than low label fixators. Participants sorted the 18 products based on price, putting the lowest-labeled product first 84% of the time. Future studies could include looking at other environmental labels and broader populations.
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