WP 2: Drivers and data. Food consumption and diets

General Information

The objective of WP2 is to provide an understanding of the drivers of changes and responses to dietary recommendations. To provide insights regarding consumers' perception and reaction about new issues linked to sustainability, nutrition, environment and food security. WP2 will investigate consumption patterns and dietary intake in four European countries, connected with WP7 that will elaborate the SHARP model (see WP7).

Particular focus will be given to the reaction of consumers to new information related to sustainability and how can they change their habits. This will consider microeconomic model for simulating substitution between products when prices are changing (including willingness to pay, price and income elasticity). Consumer preferences are crucial for when it comes to implementing new policies.

The results of this model will contribute to WP7 and WP9.

 

Latest Publication

Deliverable 2.3: Analysis of the online choice experiment on fruit and vegetables determining the importance of nutritional and environmental benefits and the level of information

In this deliverable we investigate consumers’ sensitivity to product information on fruit and vegetable products. Fruit and vegetable consumption is associated with better health and prevention of diseases (Guillaumie et al., 2012) and more knowledge is needed on how product information on fruit and vegetable products influences consumer choices. This study contributes to the existing literature by studying the combination of health and sustainability information. In light of dual process theories (ELM; Petty & Cacioppo, 1986; HSM; Chaiken 1980) we took both message content and message characteristics into account.

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Deliverable 2.6: Simulations of diet recommendations and assessment of their economic, environmental and nutritional impacts.

We analyse ex-ante the sustainability effects of diet recommendations in France, Denmark and Finland to conclude that: 1- The promotion of several diet recommendations would improve social welfare; 2- Healthy-eating recommendations targeting consumption of fruits/vegetables, salt and saturated fat should be prioritized for promotion; 3- Although synergies dominate, trade-offs between environmental and health objectives occur in some cases ; and 4- The taste/utility cost of dietary change imposed on consumers should be included in the welfare analysis of diet recommendations.

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Deliverable 2.5: Consumer choice related to meat/fish consumption and their possible replacement by plant-based products: results from lab experiments and costbenefit analysis

The deliverable D2.5 analyzes the results of lab experiments conducted in France and Italy. We evaluate the impact of different types of information on participants’ willingness-to-pay (WTP) and quantity choices for both beef burger meat and soy burger meat. We conducted a lab experiment in France and Italy to elicit hypothetical WTP with a multiple-price list. Explanatory messages about the impact of beef and soy on health and environment were revealed to participants, before successive rounds of WTP determinations and quantity choices. Results show a very weak impact of successive rounds of messages on WTP for both beef and soy. However, these explanatory messages lead to a significant change in chosen quantities. These results are used for determining a cost-benefit analysis on the basis of a model of diet changes induced by the adoption of nutritional and environmental recommendations. We particularly show how both relative variations in willingness-to-pay (WTP) and relative variations in chosen quantities, following messages revealed in the lab, can be used for a welfare analysis. These variations are integrated in a market equilibrium model, as a possible demand shifter or as a non-internalized damage/benefit when consumers are ignorant. A related cost-benefit analysis studies the welfare impact of a nutritional recommendation or a tax mechanism. Results suggest that these regulatory tools have a significant impact on the variation of welfare and the reduction of beef consumption. 3 working papers provided in annex were written for precisely studying these issues of this deliverable.

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Mechanisms and Regulation in the Food Chain

This paper focuses on questions related to the regulation of quality in the food chain. The paper first recalls the new challenges related to quality in the food chain, with an emphasis on the issue of sustainability. This first part underlines that the numerous dimensions related to sustainability make the regulation necessary but difficult. Then the paper introduces a partial equilibrium model calibrated with empirical data, for helping evaluate which regulatory instrument should be socially preferred ex ante on a case-by-case basis. An application to the milk market focuses on linseed for feeding dairy cows, which reduces methane emissions and increases the omega-3 content of milk. Simulations compare the impact of the exclusive use of one label signaling omega-3, versus the impact of a minimum-quality standard imposing linseed in the diet of all dairy cows. Both instruments would have a positive impact on consumers' surpluses and some producers’ profits. This application shows that details about the influence of regulatory tools on surpluses may be given on a case-by-case basis.

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Deliverable 2.4: Preliminary report on Task 2.4: lab experiment on consumers choice

This deliverable presents the results of the first experiment conducted in France. The second experiment that will be conducted in Italy, and the cosbenefit analysis will be presented in the final version of the report, under the deliverable 2.5. Version

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Deliverable 2.2: Protocol for defining the nutritional adequacy of total diets and foods consumed in EU countries

Protocol for defining the nutritional adequacy of total diets and foods consumed in EU countries

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Deliverable 2.1: Consumers’ knowledge about the determinants for a sustainable diet

The deliverable will report on Task 2.1. Drawing on the results of a web-survey, it will discuss the importance of incorporating national and regional habits into metrics and models for the SFNS diet.

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Spatial heterogeneity of the agricultural sector in economic models

Recent food price spikes and their potential link to biofuel and increased food demand (e.g. Ajanovic, 2011; Gilbert, 2010; Mueller et al., 2011; Piesse and Thirtle, 2009; Zilberman et al., 2012), on-going land use changes, such as conversion of tropical forest to agricultural land, and their relation to Green House Gas Emissions (cf. Harvey and Pilgrim, 2011) and discussions around the so-called bioeconomy (e.g. Hertel et al., 2013; Sheppard et al., 2011; Zilberman et al., 2013) all have renewed societal and scientific interest in better understanding how agricultural land use reacts to price and policy signals. Consequently, economic models working on quite different scales and being based on different methodologies were extended in recent years to better deal with land use and management issues.

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