Does Eco-friendly Coffee Taste Better?

Jody‘s crew found an interesting study conducted comparing coffee as reported by Plos One. Three experiments were conducted in which volunteers tasted 2 cups of coffee and rated them. In the first and last, the participants were told which cup had “eco-friendly” coffee and one did not. In the second experiment, they weren’t told which was which. In reality, both cups contained the exact same coffee.

Experiment 1: Those who considered themselves as high sustainability consumers were willing to pay more for the “eco-friendly” coffee.

Experiment 2: Participants were not told which cup had which coffee. After their decision, half were told their coffee choice was “eco-friendly” and the other half were told it wasn’t. Those who were high sustainability consumers and chose the “non eco-friendly” coffee still said they would pay more for the “eco-friendly” coffee. The low sustainability consumers were only willing to pay more for the “eco-friendly” coffee if it was their taste preference.

Experiment 3: In this experiment, they were told which cup held which coffee, but they were randomly assigned to either report their findings to a researcher to fill in a response sheet or fill in a response sheet themselves and slip it into a concealed box. The purpose of this was to see if peer pressure of responding to a researcher affected their decision of willingness to pay more for “eco-friendly” coffee. It did not as they were still willing to pay more for the “eco-friendly” coffee.