Consumer Willingness to Pay for Food Safety Interventions: The Role of Message Framing and Involvement

Research on recent pre-slaughter interventions in the beef industry, particularly vaccinations and direct-fed microbials, have proven their effectiveness in reducing E. coli contamination in beef. In spite of such evidences, adoption of these technologies have been minimal. This study determined consumer response and willingness to pay (WTP) for beef products from cattle vaccinated against E. coli and given direct-fed microbials, and evaluated multiple message frames and their persuasive impacts on WTP for the technologies. Respondents were grouped into six information treatments, and were exposed to gain-framed and loss-framed messages, a media food safety story, and combinations of the media story and the gain-framed and loss-framed messages. A survey which included a choice experiment targeted a representative, random sample of 1,879 residents across the U.S in July and August 2015. A random parameters logit model found that consumers preferred animal vaccines over direct-fed microbials, and preferred either intervention to none at all. Corroborating prospect theory’s loss aversion, the loss-framed message, and the combined loss-framed message with the media story were the most persuasive, inducing the highest WTP. These findings altogether present an optimistic outlook about consumers’ openness to these technologies, and are of interest to agents in the beef sector who influence the variety and presentation of consumption choices available to consumers.

Issue Date:
May 25 2016
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
Record Identifier:
PURL Identifier:
JEL Codes:
D11 D12 Q13

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-23

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