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An Experimental Investigation of Willingness to Pay for Non-GM and Organic Food Products



The appearance and rapid adoption of genetically modified (GM) foods and the strong growth in organic foods are two of the major trends that have influenced the food system over the past several years. The purpose of this research was to determine consumer willingness to pay (WTP) for non-GM and organic foods relative to conventional foods and to see if WTP differences between the three categories vary between fresh and processed food products. Experimental auctions with 133 subjects from three states (Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania) were conducted. Tobit models were run with the bids as functions of demographic and knowledge and attitude variables. Results suggest an untapped market exists for non-GM products at a substantial premium over conventional, yet less than organic. This segment may be difficult to identify though as attitude variables were more important explainers of bids than demographics.

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