We investigate consumers’ reactions to information on rice types produced using a cultivation method that protects the crested ibis (Nipponia nippon), a symbol of the endangered birds of Japan. We employ a non-hypothetical choice experiment with real monetary incentives, in which participants taste three types of rice—Niigata rice, Sado rice, and Sado-Ibis certified rice (Ibis rice)—and choose one to take home. The participants make decisions twice in each choice set, once before and once after tasting. Three information treatments are used: information about taste ranking from chefs and consumers, cultivation method, and no-information. Comparing the expected and actual willingness to pay (WTP) for Ibis rice, only the cultivation method information increases the WTP, which triples. The WTP in the taste ranking information treatment becomes lower among the participants who refer to chefs, but there is no significant difference in preferences between the expected and actual stages among all participants. For Sado rice, the WTP increases when we provide no-information or information on the cultivation method. In both cases, the WTP changes from negative to positive relative to Niigata rice; however, this WTP is less than that for Ibis rice. These results imply that consumers are more sensitive to information of process and effort for a cultivation method that protects endangered species than to the information about taste ranking.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Nutrition and Dietetics