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Abstract

Quality assurance and labeling play an important and increasing role in firms’ marketing strategies. In almost all cases, a price incentive has been stressed as the major incentive for firms to participate in such schemes. We argue here that important non-price incentives for participation in quality labeling may exist, too. In German retailing, it can be observed that discount retailers are listing more and more foods with quality labels. Processors may then participate in voluntary quality labeling in order to enter the large and growing market of discount retailers. The price-premium versus the market-entry hypothesis are analyzed theoretically. We investigate then in an empirical hedonic pricing model for the German fruit juice market and for participation in the quality label of the Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft (DLG) which of the two hypotheses is consistent with the data. There is strong support for the market-entry hypothesis.

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