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Consumers indicate on surveys that price and freshness are important to their purchase decisions. If this is true, then why don’t retailers sell milk differentiated by the date it was pasteurized or why are meats not displayed with several different prices based on time since butchering? Our experimental results suggest that the addition of an expiration date led consumers to consider milk to have a consistent level of freshness until the expiration date in contrast to them assuming a more linear decline. Our findings indicate that expiration dating substantially alters consumers’ beliefs on milks’ freshness and potentially enhances firms’ profits.


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