Professors and students of School of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development published on Food Policy
(2022-09-26 16:09:28)

Recently, professors and students of the School of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (SARD) of Renmin University of China published an article titled “The effects of message framing on novel food introduction: Evidence from the artificial meat products in China” on Food Policy, a leading international academic journal in the field of agricultural economics.

The study is a joint effort of Associate Professor Zhang Jun, PhD student Shi Hongxu, and Professor Sheng Jiping of SARD. The study aims to investigate the effects of information framing and focus moderation on consumers’ willingness to pay for new food products.


Technological advances and innovations in the agri-food sector have become increasingly important over the past decade. However, as consumers often have little knowledge and information about novel food products, they are hesitant to accept them. Though the role of information on consumer decision-making for novel foods has been examined extensively, little is known about artificial meat products. This study investigated how message framing and regulatory focus (the way individuals approach pleasures and avoid pains according to the regulatory fit theory) affect Chinese consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for novel food products. It examined the valuation of artificial meat products using contingent valuation experiments conducted via online surveys in China. Focusing on artificial meat hamburgers, the study found that both gain- and avoidance-framed messages, compared with neutral messages, could increase a consumer’s WTP when introducing novel food products, and regulatory focus had a significant effect on WTP. In general, individuals’ WTP is higher when their regulatory focus fits the product’s message framing. Finally, the study identified heterogeneous effects of message framing and regulatory focus on WTP across substitutable novel food products, such as plant-based meat and clean meat hamburgers.

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