EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Consumer willingness to pay for redundant food labels

Lacey Wilson and Jayson Lusk ()

Food Policy, 2020, vol. 97, issue C

Abstract: Previous studies, as well as market sales data, show some consumers are willing to pay a premium for redundant or superfluous food labels that carry no additional information for the informed consumer. Some advocacy groups have argued that the use of such redundant labels is misleading or unethical. To determine whether premiums for redundant labels stem from misunderstanding or other factors, this study seeks to determine whether greater knowledge of the claims - in the form of expertise in food production and scientific literacy - decreases willingness to pay for redundant labels. We also explore whether de-biasing information influences consumers’ valuations of redundant labels. An online survey of 1122 U.S. consumers elicited preferences for three redundantly labeled products: non-GMO sea salt, gluten-free orange juice, and no-hormone-added chicken breast. Respondents with farm experience report lower premiums for non-GMO salt and no-hormone-added chicken. Those with higher scientific literacy state lower premiums for gluten-free orange juice. However, after providing information about the redundancy of the claims, less than half of respondents who were initially willing to pay extra for the label are convinced otherwise. Over 30% of respondents counter-intuitively increase their premiums, behavior that is associated with less a priori scientific knowledge. The likelihood of “overpricing” redundant labels is associated with willingness-to-pay premiums for organic food, suggesting at least some of the premium for organic is a result of misinformation.

Keywords: De-bias; Gluten-free; GMO; Hormone; Labelling; Organic; Scientific literacy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306919220301421
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:97:y:2020:i:c:s0306919220301421

DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2020.101938

Access Statistics for this article

Food Policy is currently edited by J. Kydd

More articles in Food Policy from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().

 
Page updated 2021-10-05
Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:97:y:2020:i:c:s0306919220301421