Consumers' evaluation of volition, control, anticipated regret, and perceived food health risk. Evidence from a field experiment in a traditional vegetable market in Kenya
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics, P.O. Box 7013, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden; Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 30197, Nairobi 00100, Kenya; Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 30197, Nairobi 00100, Kenya; International Potato Center, Uganda
Food markets in developing countries encompass a wide spectrum of food health risk exposures for consumers, but little is known about how consumers make judgments and decisions in relation to these risks. This study examined the relationship between perceived food health risk, anticipated regret from adverse health outcomes, command over exposure (volition), and command over outcome (control). A field experiment was conducted with consumers of kale (Brassica oleracea) at a traditional peri-urban market in Nairobi, Kenya. The intervention introduced a sales point developed to meet high food safety standards with produce being specifically sourced and controlled for safe production, transport, and handling practices. The treatment group (n=152) received information about actions taken through the intervention to minimize risks and participants used their own money to bid to upgrade from kale sold from non-intervention sales stands. Participants in the control group (n=100) were observed after buying kale from non-intervention sales points within the same market. The results showed that consequentialist and emotion-based risk measures were related, as were volition and control for both groups, but the levels were different. Moreover, in the treatment group perceived risk was related to volition and anticipated regret, but control was only related to perceived risk. These findings have implications for food risk communication and actions to improve local conditions under which food is sold. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.