Consumers’ preferences for nanotechnology in food packaging: a discrete choice experiment



Erdem S (2015) Consumers’ preferences for nanotechnology in food packaging: a discrete choice experiment. Journal of Agricultural Economics, 66 (2), pp. 259-279.

We examine consumers' preferences for chickens under different levels of foodborne health risk, animal welfare and pric attributes. We analyse how their preferences vary according to the risk reduction method. Our comparison is between risk reductions achieved by conventional improvements in the meat supply chain system (e.g. more stringent regulations and inspection regimes), and risk reductions achieved by food packaging nanosensors. Our comparison uses a two-treatment discrete choice experiment in which each treatment sample is only presented with one of the risk reductions: either nanotechnology or conventional methods. We also investigate heterogeneity in preferences for two consumer groups: (i) consumers who usually buy conventional raw, whole chickens, and (ii) consumers who usually buy niche, welfare-improved chickens, such as free-range and organic. Our results show evidence of heterogeneity in preferences and willingness- to-pay values of the both consumer groups. We find that consumers, on average, prefer raw, whole chicken with a lower risk of food poisoning, better animal welfare, and lower costs, regardless of the presence of nanosensors. Although consumers in general showed no strong preferences towards or resistance to nanotechnology, those who buy chickens with better animal welfare, on average, showed higher WTP for food risk reduction and animal welfare relative to conventional chicken consumers.

Animal welfare; discrete choice experiments; grids; health risks; nanosensors; nanotechnology; random parameter logit; UK

Journal of Agricultural Economics: Volume 66, Issue 2

Publication date30/06/2015
Publication date online05/11/2014
Date accepted by journal05/09/2014

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Professor Seda Erdem

Professor Seda Erdem

Professor, Economics