Home» News» Updates» Impact of information intervention on consumers' decision to pay a premium for pro-environmental foods

Impact of information intervention on consumers' decision to pay a premium for pro-environmental foods

By IARRP | Updated: 2022-09-13

Based on the transformation of the rice cropping system on the production side and the cultivation needs of the pro-environmental food market on the consumer side, the Innovation Team of Resources Utilization and Regional Planning of Agriculture discussed the impact of information intervention on consumers' decision to pay a premium for emerging pro-environmental food.

The relevant research results were published in the environmental science academic journal "Journal of Cleaner Production" under the title "Information exposure incentivizes consumers to pay a premium for emerging pro-environmental food: Evidence from China".

According to researcher Yin Changbin, as consumers pay more and more attention to health, new environmentally friendly foods with safety, nutrition and environmental protection features are becoming a new consumption trend in the agricultural product market. The relative scarcity of resources determines the possibility of consumers paying a premium for this type of food. So, are consumers willing to pay a premium for emerging pro-environmental foods? 

Taking green manure-rice (GMR) as an example. This study revealed the willingness of Chinese urban consumers to pay a premium for GMR by designing an information intervention experiment and comprehensively using conditional value method, parametric estimation, and other methods. The results show that the willingness of consumers to pay before and after the information intervention is 7.9 yuan/kg and 12.1 yuan/kg, respectively, which are 2.6 yuan/kg and 6.8 yuan/kg higher than ordinary rice, respectively.

This finding underscores the need to eliminate information asymmetry in pro-environmental food markets through external information provision. On this basis, the decision-making mechanism of consumers to purchase GMR was discussed, and the following conclusions were obtained.

First, both subjective self-evaluation and environmental literacy have a positive and significant impact on consumer premium. It is practical and feasible to improve consumers' consumption premium by actively guiding consumers' subjective self-evaluation and cultivating consumers' environmental literacy. Secondly, information intervention has a positive moderating effect on consumers' cognition of GMR attributes. This finding not only underlines the positive role of food attribute labels in guiding consumers to pay, but also further validates the effectiveness of information strategies in promoting the development of the GMR market. Third, information intervention has narrowed the payment gap between different consumer groups, providing strong support for stabilizing the GMR market. 

The above results have significance in guiding the development and upgrading of China's pro-environmental food market and promoting the innovation of China's rice farming system.

The research results were co-funded by the major projects of the Major Program of National Philosophy and Social Science Foundation of China (18ZDA048), China Agriculture Research System-Green Manure (CARS-22) and China Postdoctoral Science Foundation Project (2021M693446), and the ADB (Asian Development Bank)-Yangtze River Green Ecological Corridor Project Implementation on Green Development of Regional Agriculture (L3740-PRC). Postdoctoral Li Fuduo is the first author, researcher Yin Changbin, is the corresponding author. 

The "Journal of Cleaner Production" is a TOP journal in the first district of JCR in the field of environmental science, with the latest impact factor of IF=11.072.

Paper link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0959652622020133