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Consumer’s willingness to pay for low acrylamide content: A choice experiment

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Francisco ArealORCiD


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Purpose: Acrylamide is a common dietary exposure present in many baby foods. Evidence of acrylamide causing tumours in rodents has led to the chemical being classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The purpose of this paper is to examine consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for a reduction in the acrylamide content of baby food and, therefore, a reduction in the risk of cancer. Design/methodology/approach: A discrete choice experiment is conducted on UK consumers incorporating different levels of seven attributes: packaging, production method (organic, GM and conventional), acrylamide level, sugar, salt, one of five portions of fruit and vegetable per day and price. Consumer WTP for low acrylamide content is estimated using a mixed logit model. Findings: The empirical results indicate consumers assign a high value to safer baby food, with low acrylamide content. The WTP premium for baby food with low acrylamide (105 per cent) is the highest of all attributes assessed. Consumers also have a preference for organic baby food, in contrast to an aversion towards GM. The study results indicate that reducing the acrylamide content in baby food is desirable for consumers. Originality/value: This is the first study to estimate consumers’ WTP for reducing the acrylamide content of baby food in the UK. Existing research has been limited to examining the exposure of young children, in addition to the potential health risks

Publication metadata

Author(s): Harkness C, Areal F

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Food Journal

Year: 2018

Volume: 120

Issue: 8

Pages: 1888-1900

Online publication date: 31/07/2018

Acceptance date: 28/04/2018

ISSN (print): 0007-070X

ISSN (electronic): 1758-4108

Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited


DOI: 10.1108/BFJ-01-2018-0043


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