Journal of Consumer Behaviour

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Estimation of consumer willingness‐to‐pay for social responsibility in fruit and vegetable products: A cross‐country comparison using a choice experiment

Choice experiments are used to assess consumer preferences and willingness‐to‐pay (WTP) for different food attributes worldwide. These studies also include credence attributes which are the product attributes that are not immediately observable to consumers without appropriate information and labelling, such as animal welfare, food safety, and social responsibility. Although choice experiment application has considered many of these attributes, studies focused on social responsibility are scant. Building on previous work comparing developed and developing countries, this paper focuses on WTP estimation for social responsibility. Surveys of fruit and vegetable consumers were conducted in United Kingdom (UK), Japan, India, and Indonesia in 2015. Results indicate WTP for an increase from minimum to improved standard for social responsibility ranges from 16% to 30% (median), and 6% to 26% (median) from improved to a high standard. Premiums vary between countries but, overall, demonstrate the significant importance of social responsibility consideration in consumer choices. Significant differences on WTP were observed between Japan and other countries, as well as between UK and Indonesia for the improved social responsibility standard, and across UK, Indonesia, and India for the high standard. Findings contribute to increasing understanding of consumer preferences across countries, revealing significant preference heterogeneity towards social responsibility.

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