In recent years, the food industry has developed and brought to the market a number of “functional food” with healthy characteristics. The purpose of this paper is to study and compare the effects of knowledge and food technology neophobia on individuals’ willingness to pay (WTP) for functionalized healthy food.
In order to explore these effects in hypothetical vs real settings, an experiment defined by a within-subject design with two treatments (functionalized vs conventional food) on two auction payment conditions (hypothetical vs real) has been conducted. The products chosen for the experiment were two different types of crushed tomatoes: conventional crushed tomatoes (control product) and a crushed tomatoes enriched with lycopene (functionalized product).
Results showed that participants stated, on average, a higher WTP for tomatoes enriched with lycopene than for conventional. This positive premium price was not affected by socio-demographic variables, political orientation and tomato-related preferences. As expected, the level of knowledge about lycopene exerted a significant positive effect on premium price in both auctions condition. Also the Healthy choice subscale of the Food Technology Neophobia Scale (FTNS) was a significant predictor of premium price, but only when the auction was hypothetical.
This paper might shed some light upon the predictive power of the FTNS on individuals’ behavior in a real market setting.
La Barbera, F., Amato, M. and Sannino, G. (2016), "Understanding consumers’ intention and behaviour towards functionalised food: The role of knowledge and food technology neophobia", British Food Journal, Vol. 118 No. 4, pp. 885-895. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-10-2015-0354Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited