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Consumer’s thoughts about and willingness to pay for traffic-light labeled food and financial products

  • Drescher, Larissa S.
  • Stephan, Marette
  • Roosen, Jutta

Recently, the stakeholders in the financial industry picked up the idea used in the food sector to label products with traffic-lights. Traffic-lights are not undisputable in either sector. The goal of this paper is to analyze consumer thoughts about this labeling type. Moreover, using the results of a split sample choice experiment the impact of traffic-light labeling on food and financial product purchases is evaluated. It shows that while consumers believe that traffic-lights are helpful in evaluating the risks and benefits associated with (food and financial) products, support for traffic-lights is higher in the food sample. On financial products, consumers’ associate simplicity with traffic-lights, but doubt that they increase the credibility of products. Results of a mixed-logit estimation indicate that traffic-lights affect consumers’ purchases of both product groups. The low-fat attribute has no significant impact on food choices without traffic-lights, but has a positive impact on choices once signalled with a traffic-light label. Consumer evaluate products carrying an organic product label positively, but if the product is additionally labeled with a traffic-light, evaluation becomes negative hinting towards a substitution effect between the organic and the TL label. Considering financial products, traffic-lights lead to a halo-effect for the variance of returns. When no traffic-lights are on the product, consumer chose a product with a high variance of returns less often but more often if the product is labelled with a traffic-light.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/123200
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Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2012 AAEA/EAAE Food Environment Symposium, May 30-31, Boston, MA with number 123200.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaeafe:123200
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  1. Jae Bong Chang & Jayson L. Lusk, 2011. "Mixed logit models: accuracy and software choice," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(1), pages 167-172, January/F.
  2. Gunne Grankvist & Ulf Dahlstrand & Anders Biel, 2004. "The Impact of Environmental Labelling on Consumer Preference: Negative vs. Positive Labels," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 213-230, June.
  3. David R. Just & Travis J. Lybbert, 2008. "Risk Averters that Love Risk? Marginal Risk Aversion in Comparison to a Reference Gamble," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(3), pages 612-626.
  4. Hallstein, Eric & Villas-Boas, Sofia B, 2009. "Are Consumers Color Blind? : An empirical investigation of a traffic light advisory for sustainable seafood," CUDARE Working Paper Series 1088, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy.
  5. Drescher, Larissa S. & Marette, Stephan & Roosen, Jutta, 2011. "Consumer Acceptance of Traffic-light Labelling on Food vs. Financial Products," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114431, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
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