Consumer willingness to pay for healthier food products: A systematic review

Obes Rev. 2023 Jan;24(1):e13525. doi: 10.1111/obr.13525. Epub 2022 Nov 7.


Food retail strategies to improve the healthiness of food and beverage options may increase purchasing of healthier options and improve diets. Consumer demand for healthier options is an important determinant of the successful implementation and maintenance of healthy food retail interventions. A systematic review of peer-reviewed literature was undertaken to explore whether consumers are willing to pay more for healthier foods and to determine the key factors that influence willingness to pay. Fifteen studies reported the results of 26 experiments providing willingness to pay estimates for healthier food products across a range of food retail environments. Twenty three out of the 26 experiments included in this review (88.5%) found consumers would pay a 5.6% to 91.5% (mean 30.7%) price premium for healthier foods. Studies consistently found a positive willingness to pay for foods with reduced fat and wholegrains with additional fruit and vegetables, while willingness to pay for foods with reduced salt or a combination of low fat and sugar, or salt showed mixed results. Adults over 60 years, females, those living with obesity, and consumers who aim to maintain a healthy lifestyle were more likely to pay a price premium for healthier food, whereas younger consumers, consumers with healthy weight, and consumers with higher levels of education were less likely to pay higher prices. The results of this review contribute to our understanding of consumer preferences for healthier products and provide information to retailers on consumer surplus (benefits) associated with the provision of healthier food alternatives.

Keywords: dietary guidelines; healthy food retail; healthy interventions; willingness to pay.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Beverages
  • Consumer Behavior*
  • Female
  • Food Labeling*
  • Food Preferences
  • Humans
  • Vegetables