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Information Asymmetry in Consumer Perceptions of Quality-Differentiated Food Products

Marco Palma (), Alba Collart () and Christopher J. Chammoun

Journal of Consumer Affairs, 2015, vol. 49, issue 3, 596-612

Abstract: type="main" xml:id="joca12053-abs-0001"> Increasing consumer demand for quality-differentiated food products has given rise to a large quantity of food product classifications related to production practices and locations. Some food product claims such as native have no clear definitions and may have ambiguous connotations for different consumers. We analyze whether asymmetry in information affects consumer preferences and willingness to pay for ambiguous claims using the native attribute. An empirical application of pecans is used in the analysis to compare native and improved pecan varieties. With no evidence in the literature of additional benefits of native varieties, the results showed that consumers preferred native varieties. Furthermore tastes and preferences for all product attributes were heterogeneous; heterogeneity in preference for the native attribute was only significant at the 10% level.

Date: 2015
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