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Traffic Lights and Food Choice: A Choice Experiment Examining the Relationship Between Nutritional Food Labels and Price

  • Kelvin Balcombe
  • Iain Fraser

    ()

  • Salvatore Di Falco

    ()

In this paper we investigate how consumers respond to the UK food label Traffic Light System (TLS). Employing a Choice Experiment (CE) we find that consumers appear to behave in a manner consistent with our expectations regarding the impact of the TLS nutrition label. In particular, we identify a strong preference on the part of respondents to avoid a basket of goods containing a mix of foods with any "Red" lights. We have also found that consumers have a hierarchy of importance in terms of perception of the various nutrients examined and clear behavioural differences associated with particular socio-economic characteristics confirming early research on the use of nutrition labels. Overall our results indicate significant heterogeneity in the attitudes and responses of consumers to food labels within and across socioeconomic strata in terms of the magnitude of WTP.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.ukc.ac.uk/pub/ejr/RePEc/ukc/ukcedp/0915.pdf
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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Kent in its series Studies in Economics with number 0915.

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Date of creation: Oct 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ukc:ukcedp:0915
Contact details of provider: Postal: School of Economics, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NP
Phone: +44 (0)1227 827497
Web page: http://www.kent.ac.uk/economics/

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  1. Andreas C. Drichoutis & Panagiotis Lazaridis & Rodolfo M. Nayga, 2005. "Nutrition knowledge and consumer use of nutritional food labels," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 32(1), pages 93-118, March.
  2. Balcombe, Kelvin & Chalak, Ali & Fraser, Iain, 2009. "Model selection for the mixed logit with Bayesian estimation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 226-237, March.
  3. Maria L. Loureiro & Azucena Gracia & Rodolfo M. Nayga, 2006. "Do consumers value nutritional labels?," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 33(2), pages 249-268, June.
  4. Jayachandran N. Variyam, 2008. "Do nutrition labels improve dietary outcomes?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(6), pages 695-708.
  5. Gracia, Azucena & Loureiro, Maria & Nayga, Rodolfo Jr., 2007. "Do consumers perceive benefits from the implementation of a EU mandatory nutritional labelling program?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 160-174, April.
  6. Kim, Sung-Yong & Nayga, Rodolfo M., Jr. & Capps, Oral, Jr., 2000. "The Effect Of Food Label Use On Nutrient Intakes: An Endogenous Switching Regression Analysis," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 25(01), July.
  7. Bond, Craig A. & Thilmany, Dawn D. & Bond, Jennifer Keeling, 2008. "What to Choose? The Value of Label Claims to Fresh Produce Consumers," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 33(3), December.
  8. Wim Verbeke, 2005. "Agriculture and the food industry in the information age," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 32(3), pages 347-368, September.
  9. Berning Joshua P & Chouinard Hayley H & McCluskey Jill J, 2008. "Consumer Preferences for Detailed versus Summary Formats of Nutrition Information on Grocery Store Shelf Labels," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-22, August.
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