Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1956468
 


 



How Would Swiss Consumers Decide If They Had Freedom of Choice? Evidence from a Field Study with Organic, Conventional and GM Corn Bread


Philipp Aerni


ETH Zürich and University of Bern

Joachim Scholderer


University of Aarhus - Department of Marketing and Statistics

David Ermen


University of Otago - Department of Marketing

2011

Food Policy, Vol. 36, 2011

Abstract:     
In 2005, the Swiss expressed their negative attitude towards genetic engineering in agriculture by voting in favor of a ban to use genetically modified (GM) crops in domestic agriculture. At the same time, certain GM food products remain approved but are not on offer since retailers assume that consumers would shun labeled GM food. In our study we tested this claim by conducting a large-scale field study with Swiss consumers. In our experimental design, three clearly labeled types of corn bread were offered at five different market stands across the French and German-speaking part of Switzerland: one made with organic, one made with conventional, and one made with genetically modified (GM) corn. In addition, we tested the consistency between purchasing decision at the market stand and the previous voting decision on GMOs in 2005 by means of an ex-post questionnaire. The results of our discrete choice analysis show that Swiss consumers treat GM foods just like any other type of novel food. We conclude from our findings that consumers tend to appreciate transparency and freedom of choice even if one of the offered product types is labeled as containing a genetically modified ingredient. Retailers should allow consumers to make their own choice and accept the fact that not all people appear to be afraid of GM food.

Keywords: revealed consumer behavior, freedom of choice, discrete choice, GM food, attitude-behavior consistency, field study

Accepted Paper Series





Not Available For Download

Date posted: November 8, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Aerni, Philipp and Scholderer, Joachim and Ermen, David, How Would Swiss Consumers Decide If They Had Freedom of Choice? Evidence from a Field Study with Organic, Conventional and GM Corn Bread (2011). Food Policy, Vol. 36, 2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1956468

Contact Information

Philipp Aerni (Contact Author)
ETH Zürich and University of Bern ( email )
Sonneggstrasse 33
Zurich, CH-8092
Switzerland
044 632 53 08 (Phone)
044 632 10 86 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.afee.ethz.ch/people/Associated/aernip
Joachim Scholderer
University of Aarhus - Department of Marketing and Statistics ( email )
Haslegårdsvej 10
Århus V
Denmark
David Ermen
University of Otago - Department of Marketing ( email )
United States
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