When health-related claims impact environmental demand: Results of experimental auctions with Bordeaux wine consumers
Alexandre Pons and
Ecological Economics, 2023, vol. 204, issue PA
According to the latest studies, the demand for organic food is more frequently based on individual health expectations than on environmental considerations. As organic certification is typically based on the latter, one might be concerned about the impact of potentially competing health and environmental claims on consumer choices, especially as new health-related allegations arise. We use a specific situation to examine this issue, that of wine, a product currently classified as harmful, but for which health considerations are nonetheless made on wine markets, in particular via new “no-added-sulfites” labels. We created an experimental market, based on a tasting of Bordeaux wines specifically produced for this purpose. This market took place on two occasions (with 204 then 212 different consumers), with a two-year interval to allow for the impact of different production methods on product ageing. We highlight the importance of health guarantees when consumers make their choices, especially within the organic wine-buyer niche. Surprisingly, we show that this niche group penalizes the presence of sulfites in organic wines more than in conventional wines. We therefore argue that organic certification might be threatened by the increasingly generalized labeling of ingredients and practices, unveiling the frequently unknown uses authorized by organic certification. (JEL C91, L15, Q11, D44).
Keywords: Experimental auctions; Food product certification; Willingness to pay; Sustainable wines; Ecological foodstuffs; Consumer demand (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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