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Nutritional food label use: A theoretical and empirical perspective

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  • Drichoutis, Andreas C.
  • Lazaridis, Panagiotis
  • Nayga, Rodolfo M., Jr.

Abstract

Over the last several years, there has been an increase of several chronic diseases that are linked to dietary and lifestyle factors. Obesity, especially, is rising at an alarming rate in several countries. Due in part to increasing diet related health problems caused, among others, by obesity, nutritional labelling has been regarded as an important topic mainly because it can provide consumers with nutritional information that can be used to make informed and healthier food choices. A number of studies have focused on the empirical perspective of nutritional food label use. None of these studies, however, have focused on developing a theoretical economic model that would adequately describe nutritional food label use based on a utility theoretic framework. We attempt to fill this void by developing a simple theoretical model of nutritional label use in which we incorporate the time a consumer spends in reading food labels as part of his food choice process. The demand equations derived from the model are then empirically tested with data from a large-scale survey that was conducted in Athens, Greece from December 2005 to April 2006. Results suggest the significant role of several variables that flow directly from the theoretical model which, to our knowledge, have not been used in any previous empirical work. These results provide new insights that can be used as a segmentation tool by marketers.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/10033
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 98th Seminar, June 29-July 2, 2006, Chania, Crete, Greece with number 10033.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ags:eaae98:10033

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Related research

Keywords: label use; nutritional information; health; nutrition knowledge; Consumer/Household Economics; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety;

References

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  1. Blaylock, James & Smallwood, David & Kassel, Kathleen & Variyam, Jay & Aldrich, Lorna, 1999. "Economics, food choices, and nutrition," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2-3), pages 269-286, May.
  2. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213.
  3. Nayga, Rodolfo M., Jr., 1999. "Toward An Understanding Of Consumers' Perceptions Of Food Labels," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IAMA), vol. 2(01).
  4. Nayga, Rodolfo M., Jr., 1996. "Determinants Of Consumers' Use Of Nutritional Information On Food Packages," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 28(02), December.
  5. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
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  7. Andreas C. Drichoutis & Panagiotis Lazaridis & Rodolfo M. Nayga, 2005. "Nutrition knowledge and consumer use of nutritional food labels," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 32(1), pages 93-118, March.
  8. Sophie Béjean & Hélène Sultan-Taïeb, 2005. "Modeling the economic burden of diseases imputable to stress at work," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 16-23, March.
  9. Kim, Sung-Yong & Nayga, Rodolfo M., Jr. & Capps, Oral, Jr., 2001. "Health Knowledge And Consumer Use Of Nutritional Labels: The Issue Revisited," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 30(1), April.
  10. Piedra, Mario A. & Schupp, Alvin R. & Montgomery, Donna E., 1996. "Consumer Use Of Nutrition Labels On Packaged Meats," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 27(2), July.
  11. You, Wen & Nayga, Rodolfo M., Jr., 2005. "Household Fast Food Expenditures and Children's Television Viewing: Can They Really Significantly Influence Children's Dietary Quality?," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 30(02), August.
  12. DeSerpa, A C, 1971. "A Theory of the Economics of Time," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 81(324), pages 828-46, December.
  13. Evans, Alan W, 1972. "On the Theory of the Valuation and Allocation of Time," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 19(1), pages 1-17, February.
  14. Wansink, Brian & Sonka, Steven T. & Hasler, Clare M., 2004. "Front-label health claims: when less is more," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 659-667, December.
  15. Martin Forster, . "The meaning of death: some numerical simulations of a model of healthy and unhealthy consumption," Discussion Papers 00/34, Department of Economics, University of York.
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