Carbon labeling system is a design originated from societal value instead of direct customer benefit. To understand the appeal of the concept, I tested the key use with three grocery shoppers at school and two producers of plant food at farmers market.
Carbon labeling system will provide customers actionable insights and facilitate behavior change.
Carbon labeling system would be logistically feasible for producers if the government support were to exist.
Findings Summary from Customers
The carbon labeling system would be more difficult to understand than other statistics on the packaging, since customers are less familiar with related concepts (i.e., CO2e, carbon offsetting), compared to those in nutrition facts, for example.
The customers all suppose their behavior would change, but it depends on how understandable and actionable the information actually is.
Findings Summary from Producers
The producers agree with the previous secondary research – even though there are government standards set in place, the carbon footprint of each item is much difficult to track today. Even though they care about the issue, there is little incentive for them to invest in such measure, let alone the meat producers.
If the carbon label were to exist, the producers hope they could gain better traction if they manage to produce food with lower carbon footprint.
Introducing a rating system is less ideal, since it implies overly-simplified environmental consequences, and it’s easier to game by the lobbyists.