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Testing Consumers’ Preferences for Environmental Attributes of Pasta. Insights from an ABR Approach

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  • Edi Defrancesco

    () (Department TESAF, University of Padova, 35020 Legnaro, Italy)

  • Maria Angela Perito

    () (Faculty of Bioscience and Agro-Food and Environmental Technology, University of Teramo and ALISS, UR1303, INRA, F-94205 Ivry-sur-Seine, France)

  • Irene Bozzolan

    () (Department TESAF, University of Padova, 35020 Legnaro, Italy)

  • Leonardo Cei

    () (Department DISEI, University of Firenze, 50127 Firenze, Italy)

  • Gianluca Stefani

    () (Department DISEI, University of Firenze, 50127 Firenze, Italy)

Abstract

Consumer appreciation for food environmental attributes has recently gained in importance. The health-related attributes have received less attention in the literature, if organic farming products are excluded. We measure the consumer willingness to pay (WTP) for a traditional Italian product, pasta, when environmental and healthy attributes are added to it in turn. Relying on the prospect theory and on the bundling/unbundling debate, attributes cannot be perceived by consumers in absolute values. Accordingly, we assess if the way in which attributes are presented to consumers influences their WTP by comparing an “unbundling” approach—informing consumers of all product attributes and then subtracting one of them, to a “bundling” approach, progressively adding further attributes to the product’s description. To do this, we administered a questionnaire to a sample of households in North-Central Italy. WTP is elicited using an attribute based referenda format, slightly modified in accordance with our research objectives. The results show that Italian consumers, with the exception of specific subgroups, tend to prefer a traditional pasta product, probably because of both their taste preferences and eating habits. Some evidence emerged of an endowment effect, consumers valuing environmental attributes more when they feel themselves entitled to them.

Suggested Citation

  • Edi Defrancesco & Maria Angela Perito & Irene Bozzolan & Leonardo Cei & Gianluca Stefani, 2017. "Testing Consumers’ Preferences for Environmental Attributes of Pasta. Insights from an ABR Approach," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(10), pages 1-13, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:10:p:1701-:d:112897
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    environmental attributes; health attributes; pasta; ABR method;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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