Scales or Stars? Consumer Preferences for Food Quality Signals
Food quality has become an increasing concern in the public health arena over recent years. Food manufactures and processors hygiene performance plays a crucial part in producing safer food products. While there are inspections assessing plants' hygiene performance, there is little direct communication of performance measures to consumers. This paper uses survey data to determine consumer preferences among a set of four alternative food labels which report such plant level performance scores. How much information, as well as the format they most prefer, is compared using a range of econometric models. Results show that consumers prefer number scheme, larger volume of quality information and are generally consistent with their preference. These findings are mostly continuous across different types of consumers.
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