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Are consumers willing to pay for in-vitro meat? An investigation of naming effects
Journal of Agricultural Economics  (IF3.581),  Pub Date : 2021-11-29, DOI: 10.1111/1477-9552.12467
Daniele Asioli, Claudia Bazzani, Rodolfo M. Nayga

Currently, there is an ongoing debate about whether ‘in-vitro meat’ (IVM) should be labelled and communicated differently from conventional meat. Naming and labelling IVM can have significant implications and consequences for consumers’ acceptance of this new product as well as for future labelling policies. We provide, for the first time, information on how the use of different terms (i.e., ‘cultured’, ‘lab-grown’ and ‘artificial’) shapes US consumers’ preferences and marginal willingness to pay for IVM. Using a choice experiment involving chicken meat products that vary across four attributes (i.e., production method, carbon trust label, antibiotics use and price), our results show that consumers prefer chicken meat produced through the conventional production method and tend to generally reject IVM. However, the term ‘cultured’ is less disliked than the terms ‘lab-grown’ and ‘artificial’, and ‘artificial’ is less disliked than ‘lab-grown’. Results also indicate that consumers’ valuations are heterogeneous over differing consumer attitudes. Our findings provide insights into the psychology of consumers’ level of acceptance and attitudes, which can be useful in communicating the nature of the IVM to the public. They also have important implications for future labelling policies.