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Traffic Lights and Food Choice: A Choice Experiment Examining the Relationship Between Nutritional Food Labels and Price

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Author Info

  • Kelvin Balcombe
  • Iain Fraser

    ()

  • Salvatore Di Falco

    ()

Abstract

In this paper we investigate how consumers respond to the UK food label Traffic Light System (TLS). Employing a Choice Experiment (CE) we find that consumers appear to behave in a manner consistent with our expectations regarding the impact of the TLS nutrition label. In particular, we identify a strong preference on the part of respondents to avoid a basket of goods containing a mix of foods with any "Red" lights. We have also found that consumers have a hierarchy of importance in terms of perception of the various nutrients examined and clear behavioural differences associated with particular socio-economic characteristics confirming early research on the use of nutrition labels. Overall our results indicate significant heterogeneity in the attitudes and responses of consumers to food labels within and across socioeconomic strata in terms of the magnitude of WTP.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Kent in its series Studies in Economics with number 0915.

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Date of creation: Oct 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ukc:ukcedp:0915

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Postal: Department of Economics, University of Kent at Canterbury, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NP
Phone: +44 (0)1227 764000
Fax: +44 (0)1227 827850
Web page: http://www.ukc.ac.uk/economics/

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Keywords: Nutrients; Traffic Light System; Choice Experiment; Bayesian Mixed Logit;

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References

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  1. Maria L. Loureiro & Azucena Gracia & Rodolfo M. Nayga, 2006. "Do consumers value nutritional labels?," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 33(2), pages 249-268, June.
  2. Jayachandran N. Variyam, 2008. "Do nutrition labels improve dietary outcomes?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(6), pages 695-708.
  3. 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.
  4. Kim, Sung-Yong & Nayga, Rodolfo M., Jr. & Capps, Oral, Jr., 2000. "The Effect Of Food Label Use On Nutrient Intakes: An Endogenous Switching Regression Analysis," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 25(01), July.
  5. Balcombe, Kelvin & Chalak, Ali & Fraser, Iain, 2009. "Model selection for the mixed logit with Bayesian estimation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 226-237, March.
  6. Berning Joshua P & Chouinard Hayley H & McCluskey Jill J, 2008. "Consumer Preferences for Detailed versus Summary Formats of Nutrition Information on Grocery Store Shelf Labels," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-22, August.
  7. Wim Verbeke, 2005. "Agriculture and the food industry in the information age," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 32(3), pages 347-368, September.
  8. Gracia, Azucena & Loureiro, Maria & Nayga, Rodolfo Jr., 2007. "Do consumers perceive benefits from the implementation of a EU mandatory nutritional labelling program?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 160-174, April.
  9. Bond, Craig A. & Thilmany, Dawn D. & Bond, Jennifer Keeling, 2008. "What to Choose? The Value of Label Claims to Fresh Produce Consumers," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 33(3), December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Angela Tarabella & Lelia Voinea, 2013. "Advantages and Limitations of the Front-of-Package (FOP) Labeling Systems in Guiding the Consumers’ Healthy Food Choice," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 15(33), pages 198-209, February.
  2. Hellyer, Nicole Elizabeth & Fraser, Iain & Haddock-Fraser, Janet, 2012. "Food choice, health information and functional ingredients: An experimental auction employing bread," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 232-245.
  3. Onozaka, Yuko & Lind Melbye, Elisabeth & Hansen, Havard, 2012. "What If You Stop and Think About it? Nutrition Logos and Product Selection Behavior," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124874, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  4. Hoefkens, Christine & Veettil, Prakashan Chellattan & Van Huylenbroeck, Guido & Van Camp, John & Verbeke, Wim, 2012. "What nutrition label to use in a catering environment? A discrete choice experiment," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 741-750.
  5. Berning, Joshua P. & Sprott, David E., 2011. "Examining the Effectiveness of Nutrition Information in a Simulated Shopping Environment," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 42(3), November.
  6. Øvrum, Arnstein & Alfnes, Frode & Almli, Valérie L. & Rickertsen, Kyrre, 2012. "Health information and diet choices: Results from a cheese experiment," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 520-529.
  7. Balcombe, Kelvin & Bitzios, Michael & Fraser, Iain & Haddock-Fraser, Janet, 2013. "Using Attribute Importance Rankings within Discrete Choice Experiments: An Application to Valuing Bread Attributes," 2013 Conference (57th), February 5-8, 2013, Sydney, Australia 152151, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  8. Debra Van Camp & Diogo M. de Souza Monteiro & Neal H. Hooker, 2012. "Stop or go? How is the UK food industry responding to front-of-pack nutrition labels?," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 39(5), pages 821-842, December.
  9. Michalopoulos, T. & Hogeveen, H. & Heuvelink, E. & Oude Lansink, A.G.J.M., 2013. "Public multi-criteria assessment for societal concerns and gradual labelling," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 97-108.

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