Consumers' willingness to purchase genetically modified products with superior benefit when the conventional alternative is risky, and its relationship to GM food
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Scholars believe that in order to increase the acceptance rate of GM food products that offer higher value relative to non-GM alternatives, marketers need to sell them at an introductory price, and only after consumers get used to consuming them can their price be raised. This recommendation is consistent with consumers' demand for discounts on GM food products. This study analyzes whether the opposite strategy—which begins at building a starting point of high risk, and then at a second stage choices between GM and conventional food products are made—is an efficient tactic in introducing biotechnology. Starting high and ending at a lower point is termed the reverse foot-in-the-door tactic. We test the effectiveness of reverse foot-in-the-door when applied to GM products by using an experimental survey design wherein consumers are asked first to choose between purchasing two hypothetical biotechnology products—moisturizer and a pill that supports weight loss—and then GM and conventional vegetables, and comparing the results to previous findings taken from the literature. We also identify the variables of the consumers who are willing to purchase both GM beauty-enhancing products and show that these can be used to profile consumers with high willingness to purchase GM food products.
AgBioForum, 16(1): 46-52.