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Consumer-citizen willingness to pay for healthy eating messages

Yuxia Ouyang (School of Hospitality Management, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA)
Amit Sharma (School of Hospitality Management, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 11 February 2019

Issue publication date: 11 February 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to investigate the preference of health-warning message labeling in an eating-away-from-home context. The authors assessed individuals’ preference valuation of such messaging from a dual – consumer and citizen – perspective and with associated expected risk reduction (RR) level.

Design/methodology/approach

In an online stated choice experiment on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (N = 658), participants were asked to provide willingness to pay (WTP) preferences for health-warning messages and based on the expected RR from health-warning messages. Two types of multiple price list questions were used for consumer and citizen contexts. Interval regression and descriptive analysis methods were applied to analyze the data.

Findings

The study found that individuals placed a higher value (higher WTP) on health-warning message labeling when acting as citizens rather than as consumers. An RR expectation of 50 per cent was most effective in increasing participants’ WTP. Individuals who ate out frequently were more concerned about healthier food messages, and the influence of gender and age on WTP was conditional on individuals’ roles as consumers versus citizens.

Originality/value

This study extends the theory of consumer-citizen duality to the context of health-related information labeling, thus opening the discussion to extending such labeling from traditionally risky behavior such as alcohol and tobacco to also including food choice behavior. The authors also highlight implications on policy and industry practices to promote healthy food choices through such messages.

Keywords

Citation

Ouyang, Y. and Sharma, A. (2019), "Consumer-citizen willingness to pay for healthy eating messages", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 31 No. 2, pp. 890-909. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-08-2017-0490

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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