Espacios. Vol. 37 (Nº 02) Año 2016. Pág. 13

Effect of environmental concern and skepticism in the consumption green products in brazilian retail

Efeito de preocupação ambiental e ceticismo no consumo de produtos ecológicos no varejo brasileiro

Sergio Silva BRAGA JUNIOR 1; Edgard Monforte MERLO 2; Otavio B. Lamônica FREIRE 3; Dirceu da SILVA 4; Filipe QUEVEDO-SILVA 5;

Recibido: 02/09/15 • Aprobado: 15/10/2015


1. Introduction

2. Environmental Concern and the Consumption of Green Products

3. Consumer´s Skepticism on Sales Promotional Activities

4. Methodological Procedures

5. Data analysis and results

6. Conclusion



Current paper analyzes the interference of skepticism and environmental concern in people´s awareness with regard to purchase intention and purchase declaration for green products on the grocery retail. A survey with 905 people was conducted in which the moderating effect of skepticism between purchase intention and purchase declaration could be perceived. Results demonstrate that consumers give more importance to their buying routine and past experience. It may be stated that the consumption of green products on the retail should bring about a focus on changes of habits and on the breaking of paradigms by the market (consumer and retail) since skepticism is a powerful moderator between purchase intention and purchase declaration of green products.
Keywords: Skepticism; purchase intention; environmental concern; green products; grocery


Trabalho analisa a interferência de ceticismo e preocupação ambiental na consciência Popular no que diz respeito à intenção de compra e declaração de compra de produtos verdes no varejo de supermercado. Uma pesquisa com 905 pessoas foi conduzida em que o efeito moderador do ceticismo entre a intenção de compra e declaração compra poderia ser percebido. Os resultados demonstram que os consumidores dão mais importância à sua rotina de compra e experiência passada. Pode-se afirmar que o consumo de produtos verdes no varejo deve trazer um foco em mudanças de hábitos e na quebra de paradigmas pelo mercado (consumo e varejo) desde o ceticismo é um moderador poderosa entre a intenção de compra e declaração de verde de compra produtos.
Palavras-chave: Ceticismo; Intenção de compra; preocupação ambiental; produtos ecológicos; mercearia

1. Introduction

Concern on the environment and impacts by the growing consumption of green products have made retail firms to be concerned on the type of products supplied to the consumers. Such a stance gave rise to the concept of green product´s that are not harmful to the environment and to human health in contents and in packaging (Portilho, 2010). The above is due to the concern of industries, retail market and consumers on the impact caused by consumerism on modern societies. The process has been interpreted as a consequence of the development of Western society. In fact, several agents have become aware on this important and interdisciplinary discussion, with great relevance for society and consumers (Vogel, 2006).

However, the consumer has become aware that concern on the environment does not necessarily make anyone consume green products, as several research works on the relationship between environmental concern and the buying of green products have revealed (Ogle, Hyllegard & Dunbar, 2004; Braga Junior & Silva, 2013). This aspect has been detailed by Bagozzi (1981) who reported that the relation between behavior and attitude is only indirect and should be mediated by the consumer´s intention to really transform something.

Investing in marketing and advertisements at outlets and institutionally has been one of the activities employed by firms to change the scenario (Pacheco & Rahman, 2015). The consumer, however, does not always react positively to propaganda, as has been underscored by Obermiller & Spangenberg (1998, 2000) in their study on consumer wariness in propaganda, with similar results in environmental appeals (Monnot & Reniou, 2013; Paço & Reis, 2012; Brønn & Vrioni, 2001; Mohr, Eroglu & Ellen, 1998).

It is highly important to understand whether these strategies by firms actually bring concrete results in the consumption of green products. Current research analyzes the effect of skepticism and environmental concern on the purchase intention and buying declaration of green products on the retail market.

An exploratory and quantitative research was conducted by a survey of 905 people in Brazil. Results showed that environmental concern contributed towards the formation of the purchase intention and the purchase declaration of green products on the retail market. Nevertheless, skepticism exerts a strong moderating effect on the relationship between purchase intention and purchase declaration of green products, with clear evidence of the need for caution with regard to promotional activities featuring environmental appeals by firms.

2. Environmental Concern and the Consumption of Green Products

The consumption of green products comprises not only the variables 'price' and 'quality' in consumers' decision but also the variable 'environment'. Preference should be given to products that do not damage or that do not seem to damage the environment (Van Dam & Fischer, 2015; Portilho, 2010). Consumers, therefore, express their environmental concerns by valorizing and buying products that cause the least impact on the environment (Dias, 2011; Mostafa, 2006).

Since firms are trying to attend to more demanding clients with regard to environmental issues, they have focused their attention on their processes and their administration to comply with social and environmental aspects and support their clients and suppliers. In their interactivities with firms, stakeholders establish a relationship in which socially responsible activities are based on exchange rules related to social and pragmatic legitimacy, exchange of benefits between the parties involved and organizational reputation (Ogle, Hyllegard & Dunbar, 2004; Puncheva, 2008).

The administration of the firms´ social and environmental actions is deeply linked to their stakeholders. Reputation depends on the seriousness they administer their activities and foregrounds the contents and forms of communication between the parties. The social and environmental administration has a systemic impact on the network between the firms, changes internal social relationships in organizations, disseminates new types of behavior and provides value in the form of positive reputation (Moysés Filho, Rodrigues & Moretti, 2011).

Portilho (2010) reports that the success of environmental initiatives is bonded to the basic principles of sustainability that should be known by all stakeholders, namely, 1) the retrieval of natural resources should not exceed its capacity for renewal; 2) residues greater than nature´s capacity for absorbing them should not be added; 3) a harmonic and not a dominating relationship should be established on natural resources.

Some firms experienced an organizational development to adapt themselves to the system of environmental management. Their example was followed by retail companies (Ogle, Hyllegard & Dunbar, 2004). The movement is due to the emergency of concern that gained many firms and people on the impact caused by current consumerism of industrialized society. This fact highlighted the idea of the consumption of green products and was followed by the adhesion of firms and by the empathy of consumers (Oliveira, Gouvêa, Guagliardi, 2004; Portilho, 2010).

Garcia et al. (2008) conducted a research in which important attributes and awards to environmentally correct firms were evaluated. They discovered that people believed that it was important for firms to be environmentally correct and people recompensed such attitudes. Research showed consumers´ maturity for the consumption of green products which, according to Portilho (2010), in a 1992 research during an event on the environmental issue (Rio92), demonstrated that only 18% were liable to incorporate the environmental factor to the buying decision. In other words, the Brazilian consumer still lacked the profile of a green product consumer.

In spite of the efforts that firms took to being environmentally correct, Follows & Jobber (2000) tested a model in which environmental awareness was not a determinant factor to foreground the behavior of ecologically responsible purchasing. According to these authors, although there is awareness of green products, the consumption of conventional products is still prevalent. Similarly, Lages & Vargas Neto (2002) state that the purchase intention of ecologically correct consumers is the result of several objective and subjective factors mingled with the environmental and individual consequences that their decision in buying may have.

However, there is still low interest and influence for environmental concern in the purchase decision. At the same time, an appeal exists for the practice of green consumption which make firms invest in supplying more green and organic products to the retail supermarkets (Portilho, 2010).

Brazilian studies on this theme are still fledging. Using their terminology, the Instituto Ethos and Instituto Akatu have insisted on more concrete initiatives to understand the awareness level for conscientious consumption (Braga Junior & Silva, 2015). In 2003 the two institutes started a series of research works to discover the consumers´ profile; the most recent one occurred in 2010. Research comprised a four-type segmentation based on the adhesion degree that consumers have on a list of 13 items. The principle behind these items deals with such concepts as attitude (the degree of adhesion to values and concepts proposed) and behavior (actions linked to the daily practice of environmental laws and social responsibility (Ethos-Akatu, 2010). Results in the last edition reveal a growth of indifferent consumers and a stable number of sensitive consumers. The institutes were happy with the increase in the latter instance and attributed the former to social upgrading. Regardless of results, the model has not been employed by Brazilian researchers who only lately started to be interested in green consumption and preferred their own research methods. 

Studying the relationship between the ecology factor and consumption in Brazil, research by Motta & Rossi (2003) showed that the environment is not yet an important variable in decision-taking by consumers. Bertollini & Possamai (2005) proposed a research tool to measure the degree of consumers´ environmental awareness and their criteria when purchasing. However, the tool, based on preliminary studies of sensitive consumption (Maia, Vieira, 2004) failed to provide anything besides ecological consciousness and the interface between this condition and purchasing remained unsolved.

Similarly, albeit in a preliminary way, Pato & Tamayo (2006) conducted an exploratory study with undergraduates on the ecological behavior of people without any connection to purchase behavior. Based on Kaiser´s scale (1998), they developed the Ecological Behavior Scale (EBS) which was tested and adapted to Brazilian mores. Results showed that the ecological behavior has multi-dimensional aspects with the predominance of activism, consumption, water and energy saving, town cleaning and recycling.

Attitude, consumers´ perception and evaluation tools are studied and analyzed to link them to ecological awareness (Bedante & Slongo, 2004) or to search for evidence of a type of consumption focused on the decrease of social and ecological impacts.

More recently still, some Brazilian studies found a significant relationship between consumers´ environmental concern and their intention to consume green products under different headings (Quevedo-Silva, Lima-Filho & Freire, 2014; Frederico, Quevedo-Silva & Freire, 2013; Braga Junior et al., 2012).

Based on the above and corroborating previous investigations, the first hypothesis may be formulated:

H1. Consumers´ environmental concern positively impacts their purchase intention for green products on the retail market.

 The stimulus by the market transforms the purchase intention into a purchase attitude and behavior. According to Bagozzi (1981), the attitude will only affect behavior through behavioral intentions, intentions will affect directly behavior and only indirectly they will influence a second order behavior.

According to Ajzen & Fishbein (1977), attitudes are undertaken according to some aspect of the consumers´ world view and represent their evaluation of the focused issue. In current study, attitudes are measured by the actions that consumers take in their purchase behavior on the retail supermarket.

Ajzen (2001) insists that there is a general agreement that attitudes represent a quick evaluation of a psychological object caught in attitude dimensions, such as good-bad, harmful-beneficent, agreeable-disagreeable, sympathetic-antipathetic. The function of attitude is to facilitate the adaptation of individuals to the social environment in which they are inserted so that they may express, defend and adequate themselves to behavior.

So that one may understand how an attitude may be transformed assertively into a purchase behavior, one must comprehend how consumers take their purchase decisions. The second hypothesis follows:

H2. The purchase intention impacts positively the declared purchase of green products on the retail market

3. Consumer´s Skepticism on Sales Promotional Activities

Although the relationship between purchase intention and purchase declaration of products is well established, few studies in international literature deal with skepticism and the two types of consumers´ behavior.

Pioneers on the subject matter, Obermiller & Spangenberg (1998; 2000) are the most cited authors. They developed the first scale for measuring consumers´ skepticism to propaganda. The authors define skepticism as a generalized trend to disbelieve the messages, normally of a persuading nature, employed by firms in their advertisements. The more technology advances, the more commercial companies try to reach consumers through several media channels. Since there are trends in the use of appeals on green products consumption and on more information by consumers and firms, current research is an effort to deal with skepticism in this context or in contexts where the advertising messages are linked to social and environmental causes. Brønn & Vrioni (2001) studied the consumers´ lack of trust and skepticism with regard to the intentions of the firms. Mohr, Eroglu & Ellen (1998) registered that skepticism also affects advertisement with an environmental appeal and Paço & Reis (2012) investigated the anteceding factors of skepticism with regard to advertisements on green products. Monnot & Reniou (2013) theoretically linked skepticism with critique by evaluating the communication discourses of the firms and the negative emotions produced by skepticism. Only one paper on skepticism within the sales promotion context, but not specifically in the propaganda context, has been located in Brazilian and international data bases (EBSCO, PROQUEST, SCIELO, CAPES, SPELL, Google Scholar and others). Pechpeyrou & Odou (2012) investigated the effect of skepticism in sales promotion and found that it affects belief in the sales and the intention of acquiring sales promotional wares.

Retail shops widely employ sales promotion campaigns through different media and not merely through marketing. Advertisements on the spot produce significant effects on the consumers´ purchase intentions. It is thus highly relevant to understand how skepticism works within the retail shop since through time many consumers have become wary of sales promotion (Pechpeyrou & Odou, 2012). Previous studies have shown the relation between purchase intention and declared purchase of green products, which, within a retail context, it may be affected by skepticism. In fact, consumers may be distrustful as a defense mechanism against the buying of green products. This will bring us to the third hypothesis.

H3. Consumers´ skepticism produces a moderating effect between the purchase intention and the declared purchase of green products on the retail market.

4. Methodological Procedure

An exploratory and quantitative analysis was conducted by a survey with 905 consumers of grocery retail in Brazil. Respondents comprised 69% females and 31% males, whose family wage was R$ 4000 (26.6%) and R$ 2000 – 3000 (24.7%). Further, 53% are married and 47% single; all go shopping weekly (75%) or fortnightly (25%) at the supermarkets.

Software G*Power 3.1.7, with specifications by Cohen (1988) was used for the sample, or rather, Medium Effect Size (0.15) and Test Power 0.80 were required for the scale used in the research with 45 probes. A sample of at least 68 respondents would be sufficient to detect the effects desired from the Modeling of Structural Equations with the Partial Least Square (PLS) method. However, a sample with 905 consumers brings about a greater consistency for the inferences demonstrated in the data analyses.

Current research was not intended to generalize results but investigate the cause and effect between environmental concern, purchase intention, declared purchase of green products and the moderating effect of skepticism in the model, as the hypothesis (justified and provided in the theoretical review) and their relationships showed (Figure 1).

Figure 1.

Scales for environmental concern, purchase intention for green products and declared purchase of green products, by Braga Junior e Silva (2013), developed and validated by DeVellis (2003), were employed (table 1). Scales were reliable for research involving green products in grocery retail since they provide consistent results and give a true idea of the retail supermarket.

Table 1. Scales used in research




Environmental concern


Firms that damage or disrespect the environment should be punished.


Agricultural toxics and dangerous substances in food harm the environment.


I understand that organic products do not impact the environment


Environmental declarations demonstrate that the manufacturer may have concern with the environment.


I am concerned with pollution in my town


I am worried when I see people dirtying streets and parks


I separate recyclable wastes from organic residues at home


Deforesting may place the future of humanity at risk


I prefer public transport or bike riding


I feel that I may help solve the problem of natural resources by saving water and energy


I feel I may protect the environment by buying ecologically correct products


The emission of carbon dioxide damages the atmosphere


Plastic and paper bags destroy natural resources


Plastic and paper bags should be recycled and not deposited in the environment.


Home chemical products (detergents and cleaning products) damage the environment after use


I try to reuse wrappings when possible

Purchase intention


When possible I choose products which cause the least pollution possible.


I avoid manufactured products that damage or disrespect the environment.


I buy food without agricultural toxic products since the environment is respected.


I pay a somewhat higher price for products and food free of chemical substances which damage the environment.


Difference in price interferes in my intention in buying ecologically correct products.


I may pay more to buy organic products since they do not impact the environment


I may prefer products with information on the manufacturers´ environmental certificates.


I verify whether a product that I intend to buy does not damage the environment or other people


I am decided to buy concentrated products


I am decided to buy compacted products to reduce gas emission into the atmosphere


I am decided to buy products with scanty wrappings to reduce the consumption of natural resources


I am decided to avoid buying products with non-biodegradable wrappings.


I am decided to buy home chemical products (detergents and cleaning products) which are ecologically correct or biodegradable

Declared purchase


When I buy a product I always verify whether the manufacturing firms damage or disrespect the environment.


I always buy food without any agricultural toxins since I am aware that I am preserving the environment.


I pay more to buy products that promote the protection of the environment


I buy organic products because they are healthier.


I pay more to buy organic products since they are healthier.


I buy products with environmental certificates since they are ecologically correct.


I always choose a product which causes the least damage to people and to the environment when choosing between two competitive products.


I always buy concentrated products since they may save water and energy


I buy compacted products to contribute for the decrease in gas emissions and their transport is easier


I always buy products with the least wrappings possible


I always buy ecologically correct or biodegradable home chemicals (detergents and cleaning products)

The skepticism scale was translated from Obermiller & Spangenberg (1998) and adapted to the context of sales promotion campaigns in retail supermarkets (table 2). Researchers, marketing and retail specialists, and sworn translators helped to verify the translation exactness and remove any possible distortions.

The five-point agree-disagree Likert scale was used, with 1 meaning total disagreement and 5 total agreement. The research´s categorical variables were gender, age bracket, wage, civil condition and frequency in going to the supermarket. Only consumers frequenting the supermarket weekly or fortnightly were considered. SPSS 15.0 analyzed data for frequency tests and LISREL 8.80 was used for the adherence test for multivariate normal distribution (Mardia´s PK). Tests with 0.05 significance level were employed. The Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) evaluated the consistency of the model with SmartPLS 2.0 - M3 (Ringle, Wende & Will, 2005) for a better analysis of data which were non-adherent to a multivariate normal distribution and with a more complex model, recommended by the authors.

Measure models for SEM are those that do not require multivariate normality. Diagonally Weighted Least Square (DWLS), Weighted Least Square (WLS) and PLS-PM were the three models specifically employed (Hair, Anderson, Tatham & Black, 2009; Jöreskog & Söbom, 1993). The first two require more extensive samples whereas the latter is better equated for data analysis in smaller samples, as in current research. Mardia´s PK test was significant (p<0.05) and indicated that data could not be described by a multivariate normal distribution.

PLS-PM was the alternative approved by international researchers in several fields of knowledge (Ringle et al., 2005) which allowed for a greater "plasticity" in the analysis of data.

Table 2. Skepticism Scale Items




Skepticism (SKEPT)


We can depend on getting the truth in most advertising.


Advertising's aim is to inform the consumer.


I believe advertising is informative.


Advertising is generally truthful.


Advertising is a reliable source of information about the quality and performance of products.


Advertising is truth well told.


In general, advertising presents a true picture of the product being advertised.


I feel I've been accurately informed after viewing most advertisements.


Most advertising provides consumers with essential information.

5. Data analysis and results

Smart PLS 2.0 M3 was employed for data analysis. The model was tested with all the scale items and corrected to eliminate items without a factorial load over 0.50 (Hair Jr, Hult, Ringle & Sarstedt, 2013) and those that impair the model´s adjustment and its statistic validity.

Means, standard deviations and coefficients of variance of the answers given by the respondents of the samples were collected for the disposed items. A very low variability was reported, or rather, most provided a constant answer or disagreement within the same item without presenting a possible variability of analysis.

A model without the skepticism moderating role was initially produced to test H1 and H2 for the relationship between purchase intention and declared purchase of green products. The procedure gives an empirical meaning and adjustment of data to skepticism as a moderating variable and not as a mediating factor, following the theoretically development of H3.

Table 3. Quality criteria of adjustments of Model without Moderation – Specification of SEM –
Rates of Average Variance Extracted (AVE), composite reliability, R2 and Cronbach Alpha,
Commonalities, Redundancy of Constructs



Composite Reliability

R Square

Cronbach´s Alpha



Declared Purchase – DP







Environment Concern – EC







Purchase Intention – PI







Reference rates



0.02 small, 0.13 medium and 0.26 big




R2 assesses the variables that explain the constructs and indicate the quality of the adjusted model. Rates 0.75, 0.50 and 0.25 are respectively considered relevant, moderate and weak (Hair et al., 2014). In the case of Average Variance Extracted (AVE), rates should be higher than 0.50 for model´s convergence (Fornell & Larcker, 1981). Cronbach Alpha (internal consistency) and Compound Reliability are employed to evaluate whether the sample is bias-free or whether the answers as a whole are reliable.

Commonality (f2) assesses how much the construct is "useful" for the adjustment of the model. Rates 0.02, 0.15 and 0.35 are respectively considered small, medium and big, whilst Redundancy (Q2) evaluates the precision of the adjusted model. Evaluation criteria should be higher than zero (Hair et al., 2014). When the adjustments are done, the average variances extracted (AVE), compound reliability, R2 and Cronbach Alpha, Commonality (f2) and Redundancy (Q2) of the constructs were assessed to analyze how the model was measured, as Table 3 demonstrated.

Table 4. Comparison of AVE square roots (grey on the main diagonal) and the
correlation between constructs – without the Moderation Effect


Declared Purchase – DP

Environment Concern – EC

Purchase Intention - PI

Declared Purchase – DP




Environment Concern – EC




Purchase Intention - PI




Employing the Fornell-Larcker criterion, the discriminating validity was undertaken by which the square roots of AVE rates of each construct were compared with Pearson´s correlations among the constructs (or latent variables). The square roots of AVE should be bigger than the correlations of the constructs. The discriminating validity indicates to what point the constructs or latent variables are independent from each other (HAIR et al., 2014), as Table 4 shows.

So that the general quality of the adjusted model could be evaluated, the Goodness-of-Fit (GdF) indicator was calculated by the geometric average of mean R2 and mean AVE (Tenenhaus, Vinzi, Chatelin, & Lauro, 2005). Rate was 0.499 and indicated that the model was well adjusted since rates about 0.36 are good for Social and Behavior Sciences (Wetzels, Odekerken-Schröder, Oppen, 2009).


Figure 2. Adjusted model without moderation

Note: All coefficients and factorial loads are significant (t > 1.96; p < 0.001), since they are estimated by the bootstrap method with n=905 and 905 replications (Ringle, Wende & Will, 2005).

Figure 2 shows the model generated by research when all the indicators are inserted in each respective construct and when all the statistic adjustments are duly made. It is the perception of people with regard to the effect of environmental concern in purchase intention and declared purchase. Betas and R2 demonstrate that relations have a moderate explicative capacity. Therefore, results do not only corroborate previous studies but show that the relationship between environmental concern and purchase intention of green products is increasingly robust. Further, moderate predictive effect of the purchase intention in declared purchase of green products reinforces the model and evidences the mediating capacity of the purchase intention between the environmental concern and the declared purchase of the green products.

Since the adjustment quality in the model is confirmed, the inferences on path coefficients and p-rate of each relationship, removed from Figure 2, could be made. Since the model is adjusted, the rates may be employed to evaluate the hypotheses of the research, as in Table 5. H1 and H2 are thus proved and evidenced the existence of two hypothetical and operational relations in the sample´s data.

Table 5. Evaluation of H1 and H2 in current research





Environmental concern > Purchase Intention




Purchase intention > Declared purchase




A new model with skepticism moderation on purchase intention and declared purchase of green products was developed for the test of H3, comprising the same parameters as the previous model. After the removal of items that impaired analysis, the model proved to be adjusted and results could be read, as Table 6 shows.      

Table 6. Quality criteria of adjustments of model with moderation – SEM specification –
Rates of Average Variance Extraction (AVE), composite reliability, R2 and Cronbach Alpha,
Commonalities, Redundancies of Constructs


Composite Reliability

Cronbach alpha



Declared purchase - DP







Environmental concern - EC







Purchase intention – PI














Skepticism - SKEPT







Reference rates



0.02 small, 0.13 medium and 0.26 big




Similar to the previous model, all adjustment indexes were satisfactory. So that the general quality of the adjusted model could be evaluated, the Goodness-of-Fit (GoF) indicator was calculated by the geometric mean of mean R2 and mean AVE (Tenenhaus, Vinzi, Chatelin, & Lauro, 2005). Rate reached 0.518 and demonstrated that the model was better adjusted than the previous one, even though rates above 0.36 were good for the Social and Behavioral Sciences (Wetzels, Odekerken-Schröder & Oppen, 2009).

It should be underscored that increase of R2 of the dependent variable in the model (declared purchase of green products) provides an increasing trend in adjustment and higher increase in the adjustment and major explication capacity of the model with the inclusion of skepticism towards promotional sales of green products as moderator of the relation between purchase intention and declared purchase of green products.

Table 7. Comparison between the square roots of AVE (grey on the main diagonal)
and co-relationship between constructs – with moderation


Declared Purchase - DP

Environmental Concewrn – EC

Purchase intention – PI

Skepticism – SKEPT

Declared Purchase - DP





Environment Concern – EC





Purchase intention - PI





Skepticism - SKEPT





The discriminating validity was then performed by comparing the square roots of AVE rates of each construct with the Pearson´s co-relationship among the constructs or latent variables. AVE square roots should be higher than the co-relationships of the constructs. The discriminating validity indicates up to which point the constructs of the latent variables are independent one from another (Hair et al., 2014), as given in Table 7.

After each stage, the paths of the model could be analyzed and H3 tested. There is the same significance level between environmental concern and purchase intention of green products. The stability of the model is asserted since moderation occurs in the following stage.



Figure 3. Adjusted model with Moderation
Note: similarly to the previous model, all the path coefficients and the factorial loads were significant
(t > 1.96; p < 0.001), and estimated by the bootstrap method with n=905 and 1000 replications (Ringle, Wende & Will, 2005).

It is very interest to note that, with the moderation of skepticism, the strength of the path between purchase intention and declared purchase decreased significantly and the beta of the moderation path became negative. In other words, the higher the skepticism of the consumer with regard to sales promotion campaigns for green products, the less significant will be the relation between purchase intention and declared intention of the green products on the retail market.

Table 8. Evaluation of H3





Environment Concern > Purchase Intention




Purchase Intention > Declared Purchase



Not confirmed

Purchase Intention*Skepticism > Declared Purchase




Table 8 demonstrates the significance levels of the paths proposed in the model with moderation. There is rather total and not mere moderation of skepticism in the relation between purchase intention and declared purchase of green products. Besides being significant under 1%, the moderating effect removes the strength of the path between purchase intention and declared intention of green products on the retail market. This is due to the non-significant relation in the model. Results in current analysis show the need to include skepticism in related studies which deal with purchase intention and declared intention within sales promotion activities.

6. Conclusion

The evaluation of consumers´ environmental concern, purchase intention and declared purchase for green products is relevant especially when skepticism is added to evaluate whether sales promotion actions for green products by firms is perceived by the consumer.

It may be stated that skepticism has a moderating effect on the relationship between purchase intention and declared intention of green products. Corroborating other studies, environmental concern has a significant relationship with the purchase intention and shows its influence on consumers´ decision.

Consumers may not perceive the importance of changing their consumption habits and stick to their purchase routine and past experiences, strengthening low behavior influence of the consumers, as Bagozzi (1981) has shown. Current analysis, therefore, demonstrated that environmental concern exists in the purchase intention and should be the focus of studies on the transformation of attitudes into behavior.

A counterpoint may be analyzed which may introduce new research field. Consumers may be looking for organic or ecologically correct products in specialized retail shops and thus conventional supermarkets may not be interested any more in investing money in the dissemination of green products.

The main contribution of current analysis is the proof that consumers still do not buy sufficient green products from retail supermarkets. There is a trend, however, to do so, even though prices and habits impair decisions, coupled to skepticism in their behavior.

The scales employed in current analysis may be used in other research works due to their measuring power of constructs within the Brazilian context. Further studies may be undertaken on the application of scales and mapping of the consumers´ profile with regard to organic and ecologically correct products to replicate the above characteristics on the conventional retail supermarket.


The National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) for financial support to the survey.


Ajzen, I. (2001). Nature and Operation of Attitudes.Annual Reviews Psychol. v. 52, p. 27-58.

Ajzen, I., & Fishbein, M. (1977). Attitude-Behavior Relations: A Theoretical Analysis and Review of Empirical Research. PsychologicalBulletin. v. 84, n. 5, p. 888-918.

Bagozzi, R. (1981). Attitudes, intentions and behavior: a test of some key hypotheses. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 41(4) (October), p. 607-627.

Braga Junior, S. S., & Silva, D. (2013). A relação da preocupação ambiental com compra declarada para produtos verdes no varejo: uma comparação da percepção do individuo com sua percepção de sociedade. Perspectivas em Gestão & Conhecimento, 3(2), 161-176.

Braga Junior, S. S.; Silva, D.; Lopes, E. L.; & Gaspar, M. A. (2013). A Preocupação Ambiental é Transformada em Intenção de Compra para Produtos Verdes no Varejo? Revista de Gestão Ambiental e Sustentabilidade – GeAS, v. 2, n. 1, p. 1-25.

Braga Junior, S.S., Alonso Junior, N., Satolo, E.G. (2014). A qualidade do serviço no varejo supermercadista avaliada pelo RSQ (retail service quality) [Service quality in retail supermarket reviewed by RSQ (retail service quality)]. Espacios, 35(3), p.8.

Brønn, P.S. and Vrioni, A.B. (2001). Corporate Social Responsibility and Cause Related Marketing: An Overview. International journal of Advertising, V. 20, N. 2, pp. 207-22.

Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Psychology Press.

DeVellis, R. F. (2003). Scale development: theory and applications. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Dias, R. (2011). Gestão ambiental: responsabilidade social e sustentabilidade. In Gestão ambiental: responsabilidade social e sustentabilidade. Atlas.

ETHOS-AKATU. (2010). O Consumidor Brasileiro e a Sustentabilidade: Atitudes e Comportamentos frente ao Consumo Consciente, Percepções e Expectativas sobre a RSE. Instituto Ethos e Instituto Akatu.

Follows, S. B., & Jobber, D. (2000). Environmentally responsible purchase behaviour: a test of a consumer model. European Journal of Marketing,34(5/6), 723-746.

Frederico, E.; Quevedo-Silva, F.; & Freire, O. (2013). Conquistando a Confiança do Consumidor: minimizando o gap entre consciência ambiental e consumo ambiental. Revista de Gestao Ambiental e Sustentabilidade, v. 2, p. 53-71.

Garcia, M. N., Silva, D., Pereira, S. R., Rossi, B. G., & Minciotti, S. A. (2008). Inovação no comportamento do consumidor: recompensa às empresas socioambientalmente responsáveis. Rai - Revista de Administração e Inovação, 5(2), 73-91.

Hair Jr, J. F., Hult, G. T. M., Ringle, C., & Sarstedt, M. (2013). A primer on partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM). SAGE Publications, Incorporated.

Hair, J. F., Anderson, R. E., Tatham, R. L., & Black, W. C. (2009). Análise multivariada de dados. Porto Alegre: Bookman.

Irwin, J. R., & Naylor, R. W. (2009). Ethical decisions and response mode compatibility: weighting of ethical attributes in consideration sets formed by excluding versus including product alternatives. Journal of Marketing Research, 46(2), 234-246.

Junior, S. S. B., & da Silva, D. (2015). El consumo de productos verdes al detal: la intención de compra versus la compra declarada. Agroalimentaria, 20(39), 155-170.

Junior, S. S. B., da Silva, D., Gabriel, M. L. D., & de Oliveira Braga, W. R. (2015). The Effects of Environmental Concern on Purchase of Green Products in Retail. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 170, 99-108. Doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.01.019

Kaiser, F. G., Wolfing, S., & Fuhrer, U. (1999). Environmental attitude and ecological behaviour. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 19, 1-19.

Lages, N. S., & Vargas Neto, A. (2002). Mensurando a consciência ecológica do consumidor: um estudo realizado na cidade de Porto Alegre. Anais do Encontro da Associação Nacional de Pós-Graduação e Pesquisa em Administração, Salvador, BA.

Luo, X., & Bhattacharya, C. B. (2006). Corporate social responsibility, customer satisfaction, and market value. Journal of marketing, 70(4), 1-18.

Luthans, F., & Youssef, C. M. (2007). Emerging positive organizational behavior. Journal of management, 33(3), 321-349.

Mohr, L. A., & Webb, D. J. (2005). The effects of corporate social responsibility and price on consumer responses. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 39(1), 121-147.

Mohr, L. A., Eroglu, D., & Ellen, S. P. (1998). The development and testing of a measure of skepticism toward environment claims in marketers' communications. The Journal of Consumer Affairs, V. 32, N. 1, pp. 30-55.

Monnot, E., & Reniou, F. (2013). Ras le bol d'entendre parler d'écologie ! Comprendre la contestation des discours écologiques par les consommateurs. Décisions Marketing, n°7,  Juillet-Septembre,93-109.

Mostafa, M. M. (2006). Antecedents of Egyptian consumers' green purchase intentions: a hierarchical multivariate regression model. Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 19(2), 97-126.

Motta, S. L. S., & Rossi, G. B. (2003). A influência do fator ecológico na decisão de compra de bens de conveniência: um estudo exploratório na cidade de São Paulo. Revista de Administração da Universidade de São Paulo, 38(1).

Obermiller, C., & Spangenberg, E. R. (1998). Development of a scale to measure consumer skepticism toward advertising. Journal of consumer psychology, 7(2), 159-186.

Obermiller, C., & Spangenberg, E. R. (2000). On the Origin and Distinctness of Skepticism toward Advertising. Marketing Letters, 11(4), 311-322

Ogle, J. P., Hyllegard, K. H., & Dunbar, B. H. (2004). Predicting Patronage Behaviors in a Sustainable Retail Environment Adding Retail Characteristics and Consumer Lifestyle Orientation to the Belief-Attitude-Behavior Intention Model. Environment and Behavior, 36(5), 717-741.

Pacheco, B. G., & Rahman, A. (2015). Effects of sales promotion type and promotion depth on consumer perceptions: the moderating role of retailer reputation. The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, 25(1), 72-86.

Paço, A. M. F.; & Reis, R. (2012). Factors Affecting Skepticism Toward Green Advertising. Journal of Advertising, vol. 41, no. 4, pp. 147-15.

Pato, C. M. L., & Tamayo, Á. (2006). A escala de comportamento ecológico: desenvolvimento e validação de um instrumento de medida. Estudos de psicologia, 11(3), 289-296.

Pechpeyrou, P.; & Odou, P. (2012). Consumer Skepticism and Promotion Effectiveness. Recherche et Applications en Marketing, vol. 27, n° 2, p. 45-69.

Porjes, S., Lummis, D., & Montuori, D. (2007). Ethical Consumers and Corporate Responsibility: The Market and Trends for Ethical Products in Food and Beverage, Personal Care a Household Item. New York: Packaged Facts.

Portilho, F. (2010). Sustentabilidade ambiental, consumo e cidadania. São Paulo: Cortez.

Puncheva, P. (2008). The role of corporate reputation in the stakeholder decision-making process. Business & Society, 47(3), 272-290.

Reinhardt, F. L. (1998). Environmental Product Differentiation: Implications for corporate strategy. California Management Review, 40(4), 43-73.

Ringle, C. M., Wende, S., & Will, A. (2005). Smartpls 2.0 M3 (Beta). Berlim: University Of Hamburg. Recuperado em 18 novembro, 2010, de

Sheth, J. N., Sisodia, R. S., & Wolfe, D. B. (2014). Firms of endearment: How world-class companies profit from passion and purpose. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education.

Van Dam, Y. K., & Fischer, A. R. (2015). Buying Green Without Being Seen.Environment and Behavior, 47(3), 328-356. Doi: 10.1177/0013916513509481.

Vogel, D. (2006). The market for virtue: The potential and limits of corporate social responsibility. Washington: Brookings Institution Press.


1. Univ. Estadual Paulista (UNESP), BRASIL. E-mail:
2. Univ. de São Paulo (USP), BRASIL. E-mail:
3. Universidade Nove de Julho (UNINOVE), BRASIL. E-mail:
4. Universidade Nove de Julho (UNINOVE), BRASIL. E-mail:
5. Universidade Nove de Julho (UNINOVE), BRASIL. E-mail:

Vol. 37 (Nº 02) Año 2016


[En caso de encontrar algún error en este website favor enviar email a webmaster]