The thesis “Information restriction on product packaging and its impact on consumer behavior”, received an outstanding evaluation out of 14 nominations.
Introduction and connection to relevance of the ASF SD Goals
Amendment 171 of the European Parliament prohibits the packaging of plant-based products to use any elements resembling dairy products. This thesis examines the effect of such restrictions on consumer behaviour. Loureiro Simões' real-incentive experiment shows that such prohibition not only lowers the demand for plant-based products, but also confuses consumers. The second point directly rebuts the claims made by the meat and dairy industry groups that have attempted at similar food censorships in Europe and the US.
Innovative, efficient and sound experimental design
The ASF Thesis Selection Committee finds that the experimental design is sound, efficient, and innovative. The experiment was well conducted and well documented. Loureiro Simões uses advanced experimental methods that allow for analyses of attention data, which are also included in regression analyses. The analysis includes clear graphs, relevant tables, in-text interpretations and an extensive discussion in light of the existing literature. The results would likely be publishable if followed up using professional recruitment of subjects. The findings could potentially inform policymaking and consequently promote sustainability and consumer welfare.
The ASF Thesis Selection Committee
The committee, composed by Dr Natalie Lee (ASE), Prof. Sander Onderstal (Strategy & International Business, ABS), Dr Elisabeth Proehl (Macro & International Economics, ASE), Dr Almasa Sarabi (Leadership & Management, ABS) and chaired by Dr Vittoria Scalera (ASF Director) carefully reviewed all the 14 nominated theses. This prize is given to the best EB master thesis in sustainability research. Featuring not only novel ideas, and rigorous methodologies, but also a considerable impact on society.
The committee congratulates Loureiro Simões and her supervisor Dr Jantsje Mol on their achievement. As part of the thesis prize, they receive a cash award of €2,000 (€1,500 for the student and €500 for the supervisor).