Voluntary food labeling: The additive effect of “free from” labels and region of origin

Carola Grebitus, Anne O. Peschel, Renee Hughner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


This study analyzes the effect of voluntary food labeling, with focus on genetically modified organisms (GMO), pesticide usage, and region of origin. We focus on Medjool dates because though U.S. production of this crop has rapidly grown in recent years, no research exists related to consumers’ preferences and WTP for this crop. We conducted online choice experiments with a sample of over 1,400 consumers from the U.S. to determine WTP for production and region of origin labeling accounting for simultaneous versus individual labeling. Results indicate consumers prefer dates grown in Arizona over dates not labeled for region of origin. Also, pesticide-free and GMO-free dates are preferred, with pesticide-free having a larger impact on choices. Furthermore, accounting for interactions between these two labels reveals that they can be considered subadditive in that labeling the product with both designations reduces WTP relative to “pesticide-free” labeling only. [EconLit citations: M31, Q13].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)714-727
Number of pages14
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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