The Role of Sustainable Cues on Choice of Green Private Labels: How Perceived Quality from Ethical Labels and Paper Packaging Influences Purchases Intention of Green Products and Choice of Green Private Labels in a Danish Online Grocery Store Setting: A Comparative Analysis of Left vs Right Placement of Products, Low vs high-End Supermarkets, and Non-Social vs Social Contexts

Eleni Theodora Dertili & Vera Pereira Santos Fernandes

Student thesis: Master thesis


Private labels are continuously improving their competitive position and market share, especially in the environment of online grocery stores. At the same time, retailers are introducing organic private labels to compete in the organic market and meet the rising demand for sustainable and ethically produced products. This thesis adds to the growing body of literature on private labels and focuses on sustainable products sold through online grocery stores. Acknowledging that purchase decisions are mostly being made at the point of purchase, the authors intend to investigate if sustainable cues on products are influencing consumers’ choice of green private labels, and to what extent this choice is related to their purchase intentions, and the products’ perceived quality. More specifically, building on the cue utilisation and body specificity theories, as well as the concept of the malleable self, and the system of magnitude representation, this study investigates whether and when product elements that signal environmental concerns (i.e., paper packaging and ethical labels) influence the private label’s perceived quality, consumers’ purchase intentions, and choice of green private labels. Based on the above-mentioned theories, a conceptual model comprising twelve hypotheses was drawn and assessed through a quantitative study employing a survey-based data collection (n=268), which addressed both Danish and international consumers living in Denmark. To analyse the data and examine the relationships comprising the study’s conceptual model, structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) was used. The findings revealed that the product’s perceived quality, emerging from both ethical labels and paper packaging, and the consumer’s intentions to purchase a green product are positively connected, while the latter positively influences the choice of green private labels. However, the relationship between perceived quality signalled by paper packaging and consumers’ choice of green private labels was found to be statistically insignificant. In addition, the study validated that the perceived quality of a private label, as well as the consumers’ decision to purchase a green private label, depends on the image of the supermarket selling it as well as the occasion the consumers are buying for. At last, theoretical and managerial implications are discussed, while further research is encouraged to overcome the limitations of this study. In particular, deploying different methods and a neuroscientific approach is suggested.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2021
Number of pages167
SupervisorsJesper Clement