Marketing Processed Organic Foods: The Impact of Promotional Message Framing (Vice Vs. Virtue Advertising) on Perceptions of Healthfulness

George Anghelcev, Siobhan McGroarty, Sela Sar, Jas L. Moultrie, Yan Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The study shows that the perceived healthfulness of processed organic foods, compared to their conventional counterparts, can be altered by slight variations in how promotional messages are framed. A sample of US organic shoppers (N = 375) was exposed to advertisements promoting processed organic (and processed conventional) foods by highlighting either virtue or vice aspects of the products. An interaction between the type of processed food (organic, non-organic) and the type of promotional message (vice, virtue) was observed. Processed organic foods were perceived as more healthful than non-organic equivalents only when advertisements emphasized vice-related aspects of the product. Following exposure to virtue-framed advertisements, organic and non-organic products were seen as equally healthful. The result was replicated conceptually using different vice and virtue products, rather than framing the same product as virtue and vice. The paper concludes by presenting theoretical, practical, and methodological implications of the design and reported findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Food Products Marketing
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • food marketing
  • message framing
  • Processed organic food
  • schema congruity
  • vice-virtue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing

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