Effect of information on public perception of organic foods: a case study Academic Article uri icon


  • PurposeWhen scientific information is unclear about the health benefits of foods, people choose to react in different ways. Using a posttest-only control group design, the authors tested how balanced and nonfactual information available on YouTube influences public perception of organic foods.Design/methodology/approachThe authors randomly assigned participants (N=640) from a southern US land grant university to watch one video: balanced news, nonfactual news, or control. All participants indicated changes in perception about organic foods immediately after the video. The authors analyzed the data using one-way and two-way ANOVA.FindingsThe nonfactual news video had the most influence on public perception of organic foods. Results confirmed that the effect of nonfactual information was more for individuals with preexisting beliefs consistent with the message communicated and individuals exposed to average to high levels of health and diet news.Practical implicationsThe authors recommend regulatory changes in marketing strategies related to organic foods in the US that encourage balanced information about organic foods rather than promoting credence attributes of organic foods using persuasive information.Originality/valueThe authors findings suggest that, when scientific information about the health benefits of foods is unclear, communication activities should aim to increase healthy skepticism considering the audience's preexisting beliefs and frequency of health and diet news exposure.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Koswatta, T. J., Wingenbach, G., & Leggette, H.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Koswatta, Taniya Jayani||Wingenbach, Gary||Leggette, Holli RR

publication date

  • May 2022