The Effect of Risk-Level Exposure on the Risk Perception and Attitudinal Loyalty among Bottled Water Consumers: An Experiment

Abstract :


The consumption of bottled water and bottled water contamination are on the rise in Nigeria portending enormous health risks. Although risk-level exposure should increase risk perception and decrease attitudinal loyalty among bottled water consumers, whether there are significant differences in the risk perception and attitudinal loyalty of consumers who are exposed to bottled water risk information and those who are not is not clear. This paper seeks to bridge this gap in knowledge in the Nigerian setting. An experiment was conducted on four hundred and forty-six consumers in the North Central Zone of Nigeria. The participants were randomly assigned to the control and treatment groups of relatively equal numbers or male and female participants. The treatment group was exposed to risk-level information before responding to questions whereas the control group received none. The data was analysed with independent t-test with bootstrapping resamples. The result shows that the treatment group has higher risk perception (M=2.731) than the control group (M=2.538). Contrarily, the mean score for attitudinal loyalty was lower for the treatment group (3.288) than the control group (3.853). The effect of the treat is small for risk perception but large for attitudinal loyalty. Thus, consumers who have risk-level exposure have higher risk perception and lower intention to repurchase and recommend bottled water brands in Nigeria, and vice versa. The findings have implications for public water and health-related policy and marketing strategy.