Sustainable agri-food products: A review of consumer preference studies through experimental economics

https://doi.org/10.17221/272/2017-AGRICECONCitation:CECCHINI L., TORQUATI B., CHIORRI M. (2018): Sustainable agri-food products: A review of consumer preference studies through experimental economics. Agric. Econ. – Czech, 64: 554-565.
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In the last few decades, the interest of consumers towards sustainable agri-food products has been growing. This trend reflects changes in the consumption patterns, which have been deeply influenced by the increased sensitivity concerning social and environmental issues. In this sense, several studies, with different methodological approaches, have investigated consumers’ willingness to pay and its determinants for products with different sustainability labels. To systematise the obtained results, this paper offers a review of the studies that used experimental economics in studying consumer preferences for sustainable food and agricultural products. The 41 studies included in the review were selected on the basis of the pre-identified criterion according to the systematic review approach. Albeit discordant, the results show that a large share of consumers is willing to pay a premium price for products with eco-friendly and organic certifications. Animal welfare, ‘local’ production, or social certification appear to have a lower influence on consumer choice of purchasing. Additional information is able to modify consumer expectations and consequentially their willingness to pay, depending on the individual’s responsibility and awareness.

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