Responsible Partner:KONZUM, University of Zagreb
Ružica Brečić, Dubravka Sinčić Ćorić, Andrea Razum, Matthew Gorton, Jelena Filipović and Goran Begović
Date of Publication: April 2021

An intention-behaviour gap often occurs for socially responsible consumption, where despite positive consumer attitudes, sales remain disappointing. This deliverable tests the ability of in-store priming to increase sales of local foods vis-à-vis imported, cheaper equivalents.

Laboratory and field experiments in three countries (Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia), working with an international grocery retailer (KONZUM), assess the ability of textual and pictorial based Point of Sale (PoS) materials to increase the purchase of local foods. Field sales data, for the purchase of local apples and cherries and their imported equivalents, are complemented by an analysis of loyalty card transactions.

Field data indicate that both pictorial and textual PoS materials, significantly increase the likelihood of purchasing local foods, against cheaper imported equivalents. Pictorial PoS materials appear more effective than textual equivalents. Laboratory study data indicate that PoS materials increase the salience of goal consistent mechanisms in decision-making at the expense of mechanisms to achieve non-primed goals. PoS materials thus offer a low-cost intervention for modifying consumer behaviour in-store.

Overall, the study develops a theory regarding how priming works and its application in a supermarket setting. This is investigated and validated in the context of local foods. The study offers encouragement for the usefulness of other in-store primes, such as relating to diet, to improve socially desirable outcomes without economic incentives or coercion and in a cost-effective manner.

Click here to see the full report

A paper based on the research is currently in press and available as gold open access: Brečić, R., Sinčić Ćorić, D., Lučić, A., Gorton, M. and Filipović, J. (2021), “Local food sales and point of sale priming: evidence from a supermarket field experiment”, European Journal of Marketing, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.