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Designed to be noticed: a reconceptualization of carbon food labels as warning labels

I. Carrero, C. Valor, E.M. Díaz, V. Labajo

Carbon labels are considered a fundamental tool for reducing emissions associated with grocery products. Although the prior literature has shown that both limited motivation and understanding of carbon labels explain the effectiveness of carbon labels, knowledge regarding how to improve the label design to increase noticeability is limited. Given the limited motivation of mainstream consumers to use carbon labels, this exploratory paper proposes that the label design should trigger bottom-up (or sensory-driven) attention mechanisms. Using grounded theory for the data collection and analysis of six focus groups, this study tests six features (i.e., location, size, color, icons, a colored background or border, and textual anchors) and identifies four design criteria (i.e., vividness, incongruity, simplicity, and clarity) that may increase label noticeability. The main conclusion of this qualitative study is that carbon labels are noticed when they are perceived as a cue of hazard. Based on this finding, we propose that carbon labels could be designed as warning labels; therefore, the insights already proven in the warning label literature should be applied to carbon label design to increase its noticeability and use.


Keywords: carbon labels; eco-labels; design; awareness; warning labels; noticeability; CO2 emissions; climate action; climate change; approach goals; avoidance goals; attention mechanisms


Resumen divulgativo: Las etiquetas de carbono no han servido para cambiar el patrón de demanda de los consumidores, entre otras razones porque no llaman la atención en el momento de la compra. Los resultados de un estudio cualitativo llevan a proponer una serie de recomendaciones para su diseño de manera que se perciban


Sustainability. Volumen: 13 Número: 3 Páginas: 1581-1-1581-14

Índice de impacto JCR y cuartil WoS: 2.576 - Q2 (2019)

Referencia DOI: DOI icon 10.3390/su13031581    

Publicado en papel: Febrero 2021. Publicado on-line: Febrero 2021.



Cita:
I. Carrero, C. Valor, E.M. Díaz, V. Labajo. Designed to be noticed: a reconceptualization of carbon food labels as warning labels. Sustainability. vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 1581-1-1581-14, Febrero 2021. [Online: Febrero 2021]


    Líneas de investigación:
  • Compromiso con el consumidor y sostenibilidad