Lifestyle and Willingness-to-Pay for Eco-labeled Food Products: Does habit in daily life spill over to consumers’ preference for eco-labels?

Yefan Nian, Lijia Shi, Zhifeng Gao, Ruojin Zhao


This study systematically examines consumers’ preferences for different eco-labels and investigates whether consumers’ habits in daily life may spill over to their food purchasing decisions using a representative U.S. consumer sample. We find that among the four eco-labels we include in our study, consumers most prefer the “USDA Organic” label, indicated by the highest average Willingness-to-pay (WTP). The order of consumers’ preferences for the rest of eco-labels are the “Non-GMO” label, the “Eco-Friendly” label, and the “Fair-Trade” label. It is evident that some consumers’ daily activities, such as conducting recycling activities in market exchanges and exercise in daily life, may act as “catalyst behaviors” to encourage consumers willing to pay more for eco-labeled food products. The results of this study provide policy implications for designing proper strategies to improve the eco-labeled food market. Such strategies include increasing consumers’ recycling and exercise activities in daily life, encouraging consumers to adopt a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle, and targeting the specific group of consumers who tend to exercise more in daily life.

Yefan Nian
Yefan Nian
Ph.D. Student

I am a PhD student in economics. It does not mean that the only thing I care about is money, I care about a lot of things that non-economists care about. I just see them in a unique economical way. I am also a Chinese, which is not to say I only care about China, I am just born this way.