Market segmentation of consumers based on their actual sustainability and health-related purchases

Silvia Sarti, Nicole Darnall, Francesco Testa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Previous research on sustainability and health-related product labels has sought to develop segmentation frameworks based on consumers' self-reports. However, consumers are likely to overstate the effect that these labels have on their purchasing behavior. Moreover, existing consumer segmentation frameworks do not distinguish among product labels based on whether they offer public benefits (e.g., environmental benefits, animal welfare, social equity) vs. private benefits (e.g., cost savings, health benefits) vs. both. This article addresses these gap by 1) developing a consumer segmentation based on consumers' actual purchases of sustainability and health-related products and 2) differentiating product labels based on the benefits they offer – public, private or both. Using cluster analysis, it assesses the actual daily consumption of 132 Italian consumers over 30 months and more than 370,000 transactions. The results indicate three segments of consumers: collectivists, individualists and indifferents. Moreover, the findings show that consumer segments are affected differently depending on whether a product label promises either public benefits, private benefits or both.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-280
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
StatePublished - Aug 10 2018


  • Consumer purchases
  • Consumers
  • Health-related labels
  • Market segmentation
  • Private benefits
  • Product labels
  • Public benefits
  • Self-report bias
  • Sustainability labels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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