‘Capable, caring, culpable? Retailer and supplier responsibilities for promoting healthier eating’.

ME Nieroda, PJ McGoldrick, DI Keeling

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contributionpeer-review


Promotion of healthier eating (ProHE) gradually enters the range of perceived responsibilities for retailers and suppliers (Ye, Cronin and Peloza 2014). This logical extension of CSR follows concerns about societal impacts of obesity, and mounting criticism of marketing resources directed at unhealthy food promotion (Chandon and Wansink 2012). As consumers grow more aware of firms’ capabilities and CSR motives for caring, they form expectations for ProHE (Golab, Lah and Jancic 2008). Thus, food marketers have both need and competitive opportunities to be more proactive in their ProHE actions. Neglecting this emerging CSR initiative could damage consumer loyalty, corporate reputations, therefore long term profits, while also risking further government regulation.We develop an integrative theoretical framework, drawing on both firm-level and consumer-level theory. The resource-based view, CSR and blame attribution theory underpin the research propositions. Building on relevant health promotion and CSR literature we identify relevant ProHE activities. Deploying blame attribution theory (Weiner 1980) we hypothesize blame attributed to retailers and suppliers. Using innovatively the tenets of resource-based view (RBV) (Wernerfelt 1984, Menguc and Auh 2006) at the organization-type level, we hypothesize that perceived resources and motives to “do good” of those different organization types will shape consumer expectations of ProHE actions. Based on RBV and CSR theories, we propose specific resources and motives of retailers and their suppliers that will affect consumer expectations for ProHE activities initiated by those organizations.The results of a multi-method, multi-stage study: 1) identified the relevant ProHE activities for food retailers and suppliers; 2) indicated different levels of blame attributed to retailers and suppliers, thus supporting the strong relevance to these organizations of supporting ProHE 3) from literature, expert discussions with a panel of food industry managers, and a ‘quasi-qualitative’ study of 230 consumers, verified ProHE actions, perceived resources, and corporate motives with the potential to shape ProHE expectations; 4) based on a preliminary consumer survey of 734 cases and a national USA survey of 1,006 cases, explored differences in ProHE expectations relating to organization type (retailer and suppliers); 5) test the extent to which perceived resources and corporate motivations help explain expected ProHE actions; 6) suggest implications and opportunities for practitioners, policy makers, and researchers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2015 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Annual Conference
EditorsK.K. Kim
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages312
Publication statusPublished - May 2015
EventAcademy of Marketing Science - Denver, United States
Duration: 12 May 201514 May 2015

Publication series

NameCelebrating America’s Pastimes: Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Marketing?
PublisherSpringer International


ConferenceAcademy of Marketing Science
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • CSR, health promotion, retailers, suppliers


Dive into the research topics of '‘Capable, caring, culpable? Retailer and supplier responsibilities for promoting healthier eating’.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this