A Review of Antecedents and Effects of Loyalty on Food Retailers toward Sustainability

Yating Tian*, Qeis Kamran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

With the increase in consumer awareness of sustainability and diversified retailer brands, the conceptualizations and dimensions of brand loyalty are changing. Existing research studies have focused on traditional constructs and measurements to explain new phenomena in the food retail sector but ignored the environmental and social effects on consumers’ attitudinal and behavioral loyalty. This study entails an extensive and structured review of definitions, taxonomy, dimensions, and measurements of loyalty within a food marketing context. With an additional emphasis on the notion of sustainability, it provides a perspective theory synthesis that integrates all testified antecedents of all types of loyalty to emphasize a trend of sustainability beyond brand scope, whereby sustainability values create loyalty. A systematic literature review and qualitative analysis methods were used to identify the relevant literature. The studies that qualified for inclusion were those that reported (1) research methods, (2) dimensions of brand loyalty, (3) knowledge of sustainability factors, and (4) organic marketing. This paper summarizes and compares the key constructs and measurements of loyalty to retailers. The results show inconsistencies in relation to two important attitudinal dimensions, namely, brand satisfaction and brand value. Although loyalty towards product brands, loyalty toward service organizations, store loyalty, and retailer loyalty have been studied in recent decades by marketing academics, little attention has been paid to clarifying their role in food retailing, especially regarding whether the established dimensions are relevant in conceptualizing consumer loyalty in sustainability based on organic food marketing. The theoretical implications are discussed in association with the research gap between loyalty dimensions and sustainability values, as well as multidimensional measurements development. The practical implications of this review are important for food retailers and organic food marketers that can meet the satisfaction and retain consumers’ loyalty by providing organic and sustainable products and improving related service quality involving environmental consequences and social well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13419
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume13
Issue number23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2021

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