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Get real: an analysis of student preference for real food

Jennifer Porter (), David Conner (), Jane Kolodinsky () and Amy Trubek ()
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Jennifer Porter: The University of Vermont
David Conner: The University of Vermont
Jane Kolodinsky: The University of Vermont
Amy Trubek: Department of Nutrition & Food Sciences

Agriculture and Human Values, 2017, vol. 34, issue 4, 921-932

Abstract: Abstract The Real Food Challenge is a national student movement in the United States (U.S.) that aims to shift $1 billion—roughly 20%—of college and university food budgets across the country towards local, ecologically sound, fair, and humane food sources—what they call “real” food—by 2020. The University of Vermont (UVM) was the fifth university in the U.S. to sign the Real Food Campus Commitment, pledging to shift at least 20% of its own food budget towards “real” food by 2020. In order to examine student preference for “real” food on the UVM campus, we analyzed a survey of 904 undergraduate students that used contingent valuation to evaluate students’ willingness-to-pay (WTP) for the “real” attribute. We found that a majority of students are willing to pay a positive premium for “real” food. Furthermore, we found that student characteristics and attitudes significantly influence WTP. Specifically, gender, residency, college, and attitudes about price and origin of food are significant predictors of WTP.

Keywords: Willingness-to-pay; Real food challenge; Contingent valuation; University dining; Student values; Credence attribute (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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