Effects of Media Headlines on Consumer Preferences for Food Safety, Quality and Environmental Attributes

13 Pages Posted: 3 Jul 2015

See all articles by David Ortega

David Ortega

Michigan State University

H. Holly Wang

Purdue University - Department of Agricultural Economics

Nicole J. Olynk Widmar

Purdue University - Department of Agricultural Economics

Date Written: July 2015

Abstract

In recent years, Asia has emerged as an important supplier of food to Western countries. In this study, we focus on shrimp, a major aquaculture commodity, to evaluate consumer willingness‐to‐pay (WTP) for enhanced food safety, use of antibiotics and eco‐friendly practices used in producing shrimp in the presence of country‐of‐origin labelling. Specifically, this research assesses the effects of news headlines regarding product safety, as information shocks on U.S. consumer demand. Consumers were found to have a mean willingness‐to‐pay of $7.81 per pound of shrimp with an enhanced safety characteristic from the United States, $0.94 for the same type of shrimp from China and $2.43 for similar shrimp from Thailand. Consumers had a WTP for the absence of antibiotics in the production of U.S. shrimp of $7.31 and were only willing to pay for an eco‐friendly attribute on domestically produced shrimp. Media headlines were found to have a statistically significant effect on consumer preferences and WTP for product characteristics. Food policy and international agribusiness implications of our findings are discussed.

Keywords: aquaculture, consumer choice, country of origin, information shock, media

Suggested Citation

Ortega, David and Wang, H. Holly and Olynk Widmar, Nicole J., Effects of Media Headlines on Consumer Preferences for Food Safety, Quality and Environmental Attributes (July 2015). Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Vol. 59, Issue 3, pp. 433-445, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2626226 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8489.12097

David Ortega (Contact Author)

Michigan State University ( email )

Agriculture Hall
446 W. Circle Drive
East Lansing, MI 48824
United States

H. Holly Wang

Purdue University - Department of Agricultural Economics

West Lafayette, IN 47907-1145
United States

Nicole J. Olynk Widmar

Purdue University - Department of Agricultural Economics

West Lafayette, IN 47907-1145
United States

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