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Effects of media headlines on consumer preferences for food safety, quality and environmental attributes

Author

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  • Ortega, David L.
  • Wang, H. Holly
  • Widmar, Nicole J. Olynk

Abstract

In recent years, Asia has emerged as an important supplier of food to Western countries. In this study, we focus on shrimp, a major aquaculture commodity, to evaluate consumer willingness-to-pay (WTP) for enhanced food safety, use of antibiotics and eco-friendly practices used in producing shrimp in the presence of country-of-origin labelling. Specifically, this research assesses the effects of news headlines regarding product safety, as information shocks on U.S. consumer demand. Consumers were found to have a mean willingness-to-pay of $7.81 per pound of shrimp with an enhanced safety characteristic from the United States, $0.94 for the same type of shrimp from China and $2.43 for similar shrimp from Thailand. Consumers had a WTP for the absence of antibiotics in the production of U.S. shrimp of $7.31 and were only willing to pay for an eco-friendly attribute on domestically produced shrimp. Media headlines were found to have a statistically significant effect on consumer preferences and WTP for product characteristics. Food policy and international agribusiness implications of our findings are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Ortega, David L. & Wang, H. Holly & Widmar, Nicole J. Olynk, 2015. "Effects of media headlines on consumer preferences for food safety, quality and environmental attributes," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 59(3), July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aareaj:283213
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.283213
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