The current study explored consumers' preferences for natural versus enriched foods and identified the underlying driving forces behind consumer interest towards both attributes. A laboratory experiment with 200 respondents was carried out, applying the incentive compatible Becker-DeGroot-Marschak mechanism to measure consumers' willingness to pay for natural and enriched attributes of chewing gum. Empirical findings reveal that the two attributes are evaluated similarly by consumers. Furthermore, structural equation modelling identified a strong interdependence between the natural and the enriched attributes, suggesting they are complementary rather than substitutes/alternatives in consumers' food choices. Indeed, preferences for natural and for enriched attributes are influenced by different motivations nonetheless share a common driver: the general interest for healthy food.
Keywords: BDM mechanism; Consumer preferences; Enriched; Natural; Structural equation modelling; Willingness to pay.
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