The Marketing of Genetically Modified Food With Direct and Indirect Consumer Benefits: An Analysis of Willingness to Pay
Requires Subscription or Fee PDF


genetically modified food
GM food marketing
food biotechnology marketing


Genetically modified foods have traditionally been marketed as having direct industry benefits.  Whereas, consumer benefits of genetically modified foods have been largely indirect, through price reduction.  This study explores the marginal effects of differing value propositions on consumers’ acceptance and willingness to pay for genetically modified foods among Canadians.  Consumers’ exposure to genetically food advertisements with industry-oriented benefits lowered both purchase intention and willingness to pay for genetically modified food.  Consumers’ exposure to non-genetically modified food advertisements with direct consumer benefits increased both purchase intention and willingness to pay.  Most noteworthy, consumers’ exposure to genetically modified food advertisements with both direct consumer benefits and industry-oriented benefits increased their willingness to pay.  These findings provide insight into the future of successful genetically modified food marketing.
Requires Subscription or Fee PDF


Lusk, J. L., Jamal, M., Kurlander, L., Roucan, M., and Taulman, L. (2005) A Meta-Analysis of Genetically Modified Food Valuation Studies. Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 30(1): 28-44.

Hess, S., Lagerkvist, C. J., Redekop, W., and Pakseresht, A. (2016) Consumers’ Evaluation of Biotechnologically Modified Food Products: New Evidence from A Meta-Survey. European Review of Agricultural Economics, 43(5): 703-736.

Colson, G. J., and Huffman, W. E. (2011) Consumers’ Willingness to Pay for Genetically Modified Foods With Producer-Enhancing Nutritional Attributes. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 93(2): 358-363.

Kaye-Blake, W. H., Saunders, C. M., and Cagatay, S. (2008) Genetic Modification Technology and Producer Returns: The Impacts Of Productivity, Preferences, and Technology Uptake. Review of Agricultural Economics, 30(4): 692-710.

Giannakas, K. and Yiannaka, A. (2008) Market and Welfare Effects of Second-Generation, Consumer-Oriented GM Products. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 90(1): 152-171.

Kramer, M. G. and Redenbaugh, K. (1994) Commercialization of A Tomato With An Antisense Polygalacturonase Gene: The FLAVR SAVRTM Tomato Story. Euphytica, 79: 293-297.

Health Canada. (1997) Safety Assessment of The Flavr SavrTM Tomato,

Larue, B., West, G. E., Gendron, C., and Lambert, R. (2004) Consumer Response to Functional Foods Produced by Conventional, Organic, or Genetic Manipulation. Agribusiness, 20(2): 155-166.

Anderson, K., Jackson, L. A., and Nielsen, C. P. (2005) Genetically Modified Rice Adoption: Implications for Welfare and Poverty Alleviation. Journal of Economic Integration, 20(4): 771-788.

Ison, J. and Kontoleon, A. (2014. Consumer Preference for Functional GM Foods in The UK: A Choice Experiment. AgBioForum, 17(1): 28-36.

Dolgopolova, I. & Teuber, R. (2016) Consumers’ Willingness-To-Pay for Healthy Attributes in Food Products: A Meta-Analysis. Paper Prepared For Presentation at the 2016 Agricultural & Applied Economics Association Annual Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts, July 31-August 2, 2016.

Statistics Canada. (2017) Estimated Areas, Yield, Production, Average Farm Price and Total Farm Value of Principal Field Crops,

Government of Canada. (2018) Novel Food Decisions,

De Steur, H., Gellynck, X., Storozhenko, S., Liqun, G., Lambert, W., Van Der Straeten, D., and Viaene, J. (2010) Willingness-To-Accept and Purchase Genetically Modified Rice with High Folate Content in Shanxi Province, China. Appetite, 54: 118-125.

Rodriguez-Entrena, M., Salazar-Ordonez, M., and Sayadi, S. (2013) Applying Partial Least Squares to Model Genetically Modified Food Purchase Intentions in Southern Spain Consumers. Food Policy, 40: 44-53.

Moon, W. and Balasubramanian, S. K. (2003) Willingness to Pay for Non-Biotech Foods in the U.S. and U.K. The Journal of Consumer Affairs, 37(2), 317-339.

Bukenya, J. O. and Wright, N. R. (2007) Determinants of Consumer Attitudes and Purchase Intentions with Regard to Genetically Modified Tomatoes. Agribusiness, 23(1): 117-130.

Chiang, J., Lin, C., Fu, T., and Chen, C. (2012) Using Stated Preference and Prior Purchase Intention in the Estimation of Willingness to Pay A Premium For Genetically Modified Foods. Agribusiness, 28(1): 103-117.

Li, Q., Curtis, K. R., McCluskey, J. J., and Wahl, T. I. (2002) Consumer Attitudes Toward Genetically Modified Foods in Beijing, China. Agbioforum, 5(4): 145-152.

Yee, W., Traill, W. B., Lusk, J. L., Jaeger, S. R., House, L., Moore, M., Morrow, J. L., and Valli, C. (2008) Determinants of Consumers' Willingness to Accept GM Foods. International Journal of Biotechnology, 10(2-3): 240-259.

Huffman, W. E., Shogren, J. F., Rousu, M., and Tegene, A. (2001) The Value to Consumers of GM Food Labels in A Market With Asymmetric Information: Evidence From Experimental Auctions. American Agricultural Economics Association, August 5-8.

Chern, W. S., Rickertsen, K., Tsuboi, N. and Fu, T. (2002) Consumer Acceptance and Willingness to Pay for Genetically Modified Vegetable Oil and Salmon: A Multiple-Country Assessment. The Journal of Agrobiotechnology Management & Economics, 5(3): 105-112.

Noussair, C., Robin, S., and Ruffieux, B. (2002) Do Consumers Not Care About Biotech Foods or Do They Just Not Read Labels? Economics Letters, 75: 47-53.

Noussair, C., Robin, S., and Ruffieux, B. (2004) Do Consumers Really Refuse to Buy Genetically Modified Foods? The Economic Journal, 144(492): 102-120.

Rousu, M., Huffman, W. E., Shogren, J. F. and Tegene, A. (2004) Are United States Consumers Tolerant of Genetically Modified Foods? Review of Agricultural Economics, 26(1): 19-31.

Colson, G. J. (2011) Improving Nutrient Content Through Genetic Modification: Evidence from Experimental Auctions on Consumer Acceptance and Willingness to Pay for Intragenic Foods. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 93(2): 654.

Colson, G. J., Huffman, W. E. and Rousu, M. C. (2011) Improving the Nutrient Content of Food Through Genetic Modifications: Evidence from Experimental Auctions on Consumer Acceptance. Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 36(2): 343-364.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency. (2017) Labelling of Genetically Engineered Foods in Canada Factsheet,

Anders, S. and Moser, A. (2010) Consumer Choice and Health: The Importance of Health Attributes for Retail Meat Demand in Canada. Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 58(2): 249-271.

Malla, S., Hobbs, J. E., and Perger, O. (2007) Valuing Health Benefits of A Novel Functional Food. Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 55(1): 115-136.

Cash, S. B., Goddard, E. W., and Lerohl, M. (2006) Canadian Health and Food: The Links Between Policy, Consumers, and Industry. Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 54(4), 605-629.

Hirogaki, M. (2013) Estimating Consumers’ Willingness to Pay for Health Food Claims: A Conjoint Analysis. International Journal of Innovation, Management and Technology, 4(6): 541-546.

Markosyan, A., McCluskey, J., and Wahl, T. (2009) Consumer Response to Information About A Functional Food Product: Apples Enriched with Antioxidants. Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 57(3): 325-341.

La Barbera, F., Amato, M., and Sannino, G. (2016) Understanding Consumers’ Intention and Behaviour Towards Functionalized Food: The Role of Knowledge And Food Technology Neophobia. British Food Journal, 118(4): 885-895.

Hellyer, N. E., Fraser, I. and Haddock-Fraser, J. (2012) Food Choice, Health Information and Functional Ingredients: An Experiment Auction Employing Bread. Food Policy, 37(3): 232-245.

Bitzios, M., Fraser, I., and Haddock-Fraser, J. (2011) Functional Ingredients and Food Choice: Results from A Dual-Mode Study Employing Means-End-Chain Analysis and Choice Experiment. Food Policy, 36(5): 715-725.

Roe, B., Levy, A. S., and Derby, B. M. (1999) The Impact of Health Claims On Consumer Search and Product Evaluation Outcomes: Results from FDA Experimental Data. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 18(1): 89-105.

Hailu, G., Boecker, A., Henson, S., and Cranfield, J. (2009) Consumer Valuation of Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals in Canada: A Conjoint Study Using Probiotics. Appetite, 52(2): 257-265.

Garretson, J. A. and Burton, S. (2000) Effects of Nutrition Facts Panel Values, Nutrition Claims, and Health Claims on Consumer Attitudes, Perceptions of Disease-Related Risks, and Trust. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 19(2): 213-227.

Wansink, B. (2003) How Do Front and Back Package Labels Influence Beliefs About Health Claims? Journal of Consumer Affairs, 37: 305–316.

Kozup, J. C., Creyer, E. H., and Burton, S. (2003) Making Healthful Food Choices: The Influence of Health Claims and Nutrition Information on Consumers’ Evaluations of Packaged Food Products and Restaurant Menu Items. Journal of Marketing, 67(2): 19-34.

Zou, N. (2011) Canadian Consumers’ Functional Food Choices: Labelling and Reference-Dependent Effects. Saskatoon. PhD thesis, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Botto, L. D., Moore, C. A., Khoury, M. J., and Erickson, D. (1999) Neural-Tube Defects. New England Journal of Medicine, 341: 1509-1519.

Statistics Canada. (2015) Population by Sex and Age Group,

Statistics Canada. (2015) Population by Year, by Province and Territory,

Statistics Canada. (2015) Median Total Income, by Family Type, by Province and Territory,

Narver, J.C. and Slater, S.F. (1990) The Effect of a Market Orientation on Business Profitability. Journal of Marketing 54(4): 20-35.

Wilson, G. A., Perepelkin, J., Zhang, D. D., & Vachon, M. A. (2014) Market Orientation, Alliance Orientation, And Business Performance in the Biotechnology Industry. Journal of Commercial Biotechnology, 20(2): 32-40.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (2009) How to Feed the World in 2050,

Unless specified by prior arrangement, the author agrees to the following terms and assurances:

  1. For myself and on behalf of the other authors listed on this work, I assign to thinkBiotech LLC the copyright* in the contribution for the full term throughout the world.
  2. I/we further give to the following assurances
    1. I am the sole author of the contribution, or, if not, I have the written authority of the other authors to transfer the copyright* to thinkBiotech LLC and give these warranties;
    2. I and (where appropriate) the other authors are entitled to transfer the copyright to thinkBiotech LLC and no one else would be entitled to prevent us from publishing the contribution;
    3. To the best of my/our knowledge, all the facts in the contribution are true and accurate;
    4. The content of the contribution is entirely original to me (and where appropriate to the other authors) or, if not, the written permission of the owner of the copyright in any material copied from elsewhere has been obtained for all media (all such permissions to be attached to the contribution as supplementary files);
    5. Nothing in the contribution is obscene or libellous;
    6. Nothing in the contribution infringes any duty of confidentiality which I/or the other authors may owe to anyone else.
    7. I and/or the other authors have obtained the appropriate clearances from my/our employer(s) or other concerned institution(s).
* Works by US government employees prepared as part of official duties are in the public domain and the authors are therefore exempt from copyright assignment.