What is fair is good: Evidence of consumers’ taste for fairness

Lotz, Sebastian; Christandl, Fabian; Fetchenhauer, Detlef (2013). What is fair is good: Evidence of consumers’ taste for fairness. Food Quality and Preference, 30(2), pp. 139-144. Elsevier 10.1016/j.foodqual.2013.05.010

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Many consumers consider a variety of ethical issues in product choice and preference. The aim of the present research is to explore the effect of ethically labeled foods and drinks (e.g., Fair Trade) on consumers’ reported taste experience. In three studies, we asked participants to taste coffee (Study 1) or chocolate (Studies 2 and 3), and participants in all studies reported that the products tasted significantly better when they were labeled Fair Trade. Moreover, prior to rating the products, the majority of participants in Studies 2 and 3 indicated that they did not believe products with ethical labels to taste differently. Yet, even the participants who explicitly made this claim reported that the chocolate tasted better when it was labeled Fair Trade. Additionally, Study 3 suggests affect as a critical variable mediating this effect. Thus, consumers rate Fair Trade products more positively, because they experience positive affect through consumption of ethical goods. We discuss this result with respect to consumers and producers, and we argue that the observed effect can increase value for both.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Business Management > Institute of Organization and Human Resource Management > Organisation

UniBE Contributor:

Berger, Sebastian


600 Technology > 650 Management & public relations
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics








Claudia Probst

Date Deposited:

08 Aug 2017 10:26

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:02

Publisher DOI:






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