The Relative Importance of Preferences for Country-of-Origin in China, France, Niger and the United States

Country-of-origin (COO) is an increasingly politicized credence attribute in the globalizing food system. While international policy development in this area is geographically far-reaching, the benefits of country-of-origin labels (COOL) to producers and consumers from countries in different locations and levels of economic development are not clear. Previous work investigates the importance of COO to consumers, but is typically limited in scope to consumers in one nation. In addition, little is known about the importance of COO information relative to other credence attributes, especially in non-meat food products. This study measures the benefits of COOL to an internationally diverse set of consumers (in developed and developing countries) and estimates their priority rank in policy development. The paper draws upon research in the management literature suggesting consumer information needs are not based on quality alone, but also relate to affective (emotional) and normative (social acceptance) needs. A conjoint experiment is conducted in China, France, Niger and the United States to elicit consumer preferences for COO information, organic production, and genetic modification. The results indicate COO information is not as important as genetically modified content information (France, the United States, and Niger) or organic production information (China). Findings reveal individuals with quality and food safety information needs place higher importance on genetically modified and organic food information than COO information.

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Conference Paper/ Presentation
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JEL Codes:
Q13; Q18; Q17
Series Statement:
Contributed Paper

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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