While several studies have estimated consumer willingness-to-pay for fresh agricultural products, few have linked these estimates to consumer knowledge, beliefs and to information treatments that will help determine future demand for attributes. This research employs state-of-the-art choice modeling techniques, including choice experiments and latent class modeling, to estimate diversity in consumer preferences and willingness-to-pay for cage-free eggs and slow-growth broilers now and in the future.
Led by Jayson Lusk, Ph.D., who is a food and agricultural economist at Purdue University, the research team will custom build consumer surveys distributed to at least 3,000 respondents that mimic decision-making in the retail environment. Respondents will make a series of choices between products that vary in price and other attributes, such as production practices (cage-free, pasture-raised, slow growth, conventionally raised), labeling claims, packaging, product color and appearance.
“Shoppers suffering from data fatigue are turning to their food retailers for trusted and curated information about their food purchases,” said Susan Borra, RD, executive director of the FMI Foundation. “The FMI Foundation believes that funding research on emerging health and social concerns affecting consumer confidence in the food and consumer goods industry will impact the public conversation and build consumer trust.”
“Consumers are key stakeholders in the food system,” said Kay Johnson Smith, Alliance president and CEO. “It is critical to develop a firmer understanding of shoppers’ values and priorities when making choices about the food they purchase and feed their families. Our mission at the Alliance is to bridge the communication gap between farm and fork and this research will help us do just that more effectively.”
This grant is funded through the FFAR Protein Challenge, a suite of research programs that support producers’ efforts to improve plant and animal production efficiency to meet the growing global protein demand while conserving natural resources. With various parts of the food industry working to meet cage-free pledges and some beginning to commit to alternative production practices for broiler hens, using a consumer research base approach to help inform plans is increasingly relevant to the entire food sector.
Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research
The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) builds public-private partnerships to fund bold research addressing big food and agriculture challenges. FFAR was established in the 2014 Farm Bill to increase public agriculture research investments, fill knowledge gaps and complement USDA’s research agenda. FFAR’s model matches federal funding from Congress with private funding, delivering a powerful return on taxpayer investment. Through collaboration and partnerships, FFAR advances actionable science benefiting farmers, consumers and the environment.
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