Willingness To Pay For Genetically Modified Foods: Exploring The Role Of Benefit Type And Moral Opposition

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Hunter, Emily
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University of Guelph

Past research has shown that man-made marketing cues are able to reduce consumers’ moral opposition to genetically modified foods, which results in increased purchase intentions. The overall objective of this research was to determine if man-made marketing cues for genetically modified foods would be able to reduce the willingness to pay gap between non-genetically modified and genetically modified foods. This thesis also explored how consumers respond to different genetically modified benefit types. The results found that natural marketing cues generate a higher willingness to pay premium than man-made marketing cues, contrasting the initial hypothesis. Results also indicated that a health benefit type elicits the most positive response from consumers, and a taste benefit type elicits the most negative response. These findings suggest that consumers’ willingness to pay for genetically modified food is not driven by moral opposition alone. These results contribute to the genetically modified food literature, as well as providing substantial implications for several entities throughout the genetic modification supply chain.

marketing cues, genetically modified foods, willingness to pay, benefit type, moral opposition