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A survey instrument was developed to examine the factors that shape consumers’ risks and benefits perceptions and the effects of the provision of balanced information on consumers’ willingness-to-pay (WTP) for nano-based packaging that could improve food safety. We also examine and contrast the effect of loss and gain information framings and investigate whether the framing increased acceptance and WTP by emphasizing the enhanced attributes of nanotechnology or whether it produced, instead, anxiety that spilled over to nanotechnology. The empirical findings show that, even though consumers are willing to pay a premium for nanotechnology-based packaging that improves food safety, they discount such packaging when informed that nanotechnology is used to produce it. Preference for organic production practices, concern about foodborne bacteria, involvement with the issues outlined in the survey, work status, income, race, age, number of children, trust in the food industry and political affiliation all had a statistically significant impact on WTP. In addition, the study provides evidence of positive associations between consumers’ risk tolerance of food nanotechnology and the expected probability of buying a nanofood product as well as WTP for food nanotechnology innovations. Comparisons of consumers’ WTP for the use of nanotechnology in food packaging across information treatments reveal a statistically significant negative effect of the provision of additional information, albeit a balanced one, on consumers’ WTP. In addition, the provision of gain and loss framed information reinforces the effects of balanced information on consumers’ WTP for nano-food packaging that reduces food safety risks. However, the effect of information framings on consumers’ WTP when balanced information is also provided is not statistically significant.


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