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ABSTRACT

One of the techniques marketers use to convert low-involvement products into high-involvement ones is adding an important product feature. A case in point is the common practice of adding a “green” or environmentally friendly product feature to an everyday product, something which is often assumed to elevate consumer involvement in the choice of the product. However, there is a lack of research investigating whether adding such a “green” product attribute actually makes any difference to how consumers make choices. Does the way in which consumers make decisions about groceries change when both “green” and conventional alternatives are available? Does it make them deliberate more or do they just develop another, simple choice heuristic? Based on observation and follow-up interviews of consumers at the milk counter in two supermarkets which stock both organic (a “green” attribute) and conventional milk, it is concluded that, rather than changing the way consumers make decisions when buying this type of product, the availability of a “green” alternative seems to make “green” consumers develop a new, simple choice heuristic that allows them to do their shopping as effortless and time-efficient as consumers buying conventional products.