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Appetite. 2008 Nov;51(3):628-34. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2008.05.054. Epub 2008 May 21.

Consumer valuation of packaged foods. Interactive effects of amount and accessibility of information.

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Sensory & Cognitive Food Science Laboratory, National Food Research Institute, 2-1-12 Kannondai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.


Food purchasing decisions of consumers are influenced by information on food labels such as origin and nutritional value of the food product. Thus, we aimed to elucidate the impact of the amount and accessibility of information on consumers' value judgment of food products. Participants (n=120, Japanese university students) rated their maximum willingness to pay (WTP) for three food products varying in information accessibility (active-search or read-only conditions) and in the amount of information (small, medium, or large) provided. We will demonstrate that a consumer's WTP depends on the interaction between these two factors. In the active-search condition, food products with a large amount of information were valued significantly higher than those with less information. However, in the read-only condition, food products with a medium amount of information were valued significantly higher than those with little information, and there was no significant difference between conditions with large and small amounts of information. To conclude, a larger amount of information led to a higher value only when participants searched for the information actively, whereas a moderate amount of information did the best when participants are only allowed to read the information.

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