"Choice experiments are an important research method to understand how individuals make choices and forecast future choices. They are a central method in understanding, which product attributes drive consumer food choice and how to improve and predict the market potential for food with health and nutrition information, expected to improve the healthiness in European’s diet, preventing long term health related costs. Although discrete choice experiments (DCEs) were found to be generally good predictors for what consumers actually choose and purchase in real life, their results tend to overestimate the acceptance of normative products, such as food with health or environmental benefits, because of social desirability effects. The objective of this project is to improve the ability of DCEs in predicting how consumers adopt food with nutrition and health-related claims by targeting functional dairy products as example case, a product category with substantial retail sales value ad rate of sales value growth.
Not only food producers and public health policy makers’ decisions can be adversely affected by these biased forecasts, but a large number of scientific fields applying DCEs would strongly benefit from improving their predictive validity.
The proposed work briefly has three main objectives:
1) To assess how amount, complexity, and modality of information presentation in discrete choice experiments affect respondent attention and information processing,
2) To develop and test instructions and response formats that can mitigate social desirability effects in discrete choice experiments,
3) To test the predictive validity of different discrete choice methodologies by comparing experimental choices with real market sales.
The project will apply an innovative cross-disciplinary approach, combining methods from cognitive attention measurement (eye-tracking) and leading edge choice modelling methods. The project transfers a set of unique research knowledge to Europe."
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