Date of Graduation

5-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness

Advisor

Kemper, Nathan

Reader

Popp, Jennie

Second Reader

Nayga, Rodolfo

Abstract

Consumer demand for labeling information regarding the genetically modified (GM) content of foods has increased in recent years. This had led to a growing number of products labeled as non-GMO in the marketplace under a voluntary GM labeling program. However, many consumers support stricter regulation in the food industry via a mandatory labeling program for GM ingredients. Although considerable research exists documenting consumers’ willingness to pay to avoid GM foods, less in known about how two such labeling programs affect individual decision making in the marketplace. The goal of this project is to better understand how individuals value GM foods, examining responses to both a voluntary style label (non-GMO) and a mandatory style label (this product contains GM). Importantly, the heterogeneity of consumer preferences will be analyzed explicitly with a latent class model (LCM) in order to carry out a market segments analysis. The market segments analysis will help to identify the characteristics of individuals who are most likely to avoid GM foods and how different groups of consumers react to the two labeling approaches. The results of this study will provide valuable information to agribusiness firms and policy makers by furthering our understanding of how consumers’ preferences are influenced by labeling approach and how preferences vary across different segments of consumers. Three unique market segments were found that had different preferences toward the non-GMO (voluntary) and GM (mandatory) labeling program. These results indicate that there are two unique market segments that agribusiness firms could market non-GM chicken products toward.

genetically modified foods, consumer preferences, market segmentation

Keywords

genetically modified foods, consumer preferences, market segmentation

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