Open Evidence, in consortium with London School of Economics and BDI Research, will conduct the study “Empirical testing of the impact of dual food quality on consumers’ choices” for the European Commission (JRC). The study will investigate how consumers’ purchase decisions are affected by the fact that the same brand offers seemingly identically branded food product in another part of the Single Market with a different composition (i.e. dual quality).

This study aims at filling the gaps of knowledge about these particular commercial practices. In particular, there is a strong need for a better understanding of the economic and consumer-related implications of practices differentiating composition of similarly branded food products. Comparative tests conducted in the several Member States (MS) have confirmed the quality differences of some food products in home market when compared to products made by the same producer sold under the same brand but different Member State. Following these tests, the dual food quality issue became one of the political priorities of the Commission.

During this study, the consortium will collect data in six different countries through online and lab experiments. Overall, the collected data should allow identifying key factors affecting consumers’ choice in the presence of dual quality issues. The data should account for whether consumers’ preferences change as attributes of the same brand is modified. Further, the collected data should allow examining how consumers’ characteristics might affect their preferences (and willingness to pay) for different versions of the same brand. Further, the data of this study should make possible to understand to what extent consumers’ preferences for different sets of attributes are affected by branded and non-branded food products.

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