US and German consumer preferences for ground beef packaged under a modified atmosphere – Different regulations, different behaviour?
New technologies in food processing can provide advantages to consumers and producers but often the technologies are applied in different, country-specific regulatory climates. Modified atmosphere packaging extends the shelf life of fresh meat and, with the inclusion of carbon monoxide, stabilizes colour. These packaging technologies can be used in the US and Europe, although a modified atmosphere package that includes carbon monoxide is allowed only in the US. This study applies choice experiments to analyse preferences of US and German consumers towards the meat attributes enhanced by the packaging. Results show that longer shelf life is preferred in the US as long as the technology is understandable. Consumers in both countries have clear preferences for cherry red meat colour. However, providing information on the use of carbon monoxide in the packaging decreases US consumers’ willingness to pay and increases some German consumers’ willingness to pay.
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