The influence of retail outlet and FSMA information on consumer perceptions of and willingness to pay for organic grape tomatoes

Brenna Ellison, John C. Bernard, Michelle Paukett, Ulrich C. Toensmeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The primary objective of this research was to determine the effect of retail outlet (supercenter, supermarket, farmers market, fresh format) on consumer perceptions of and willingness to pay (WTP) for organic grape tomatoes. Also examined was whether information on the proposed Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations, with and without information on tomato safety, altered these aspects across retail outlets. Field experiments were conducted with 207 participants in two U.S. states in fall 2014 to address these questions. Consumers’ perceptions and WTP varied significantly by retail outlet, with farmers markets and fresh format stores receiving the most favorable evaluations and supercenters the least. With FSMA information, safety perceptions fell significantly for the favored outlets and mostly increased for supercenters. Participants’ felt no producers should be exempt from the FSMA and viewed farmers markets vendors as most likely to be exempt. Unexpectedly though, these changes seldom translated into changes in WTP. Further, in treatments with added tomato safety information, supercenters saw no safety rating benefit. Overall, it was clear the organic label was not viewed equally across different retail outlets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-119
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
Volume55
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

Keywords

  • Field experiment
  • Food Safety Modernization Act
  • Organic
  • Retail outlet
  • Willingness to pay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics

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