James Ison and Andreas Kontoleonj
Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge

The aim of this study is to investigate consumer preferences for functional GM foods in the United Kingdom. A choice experiment methodology was utilized to elicit respondents’ purchase intentions with regard to GM bread with functional shelf life, vitamin content, and environmental quality attributes. Results from multinomial logit and random parameter logit modelling indicate that for parity, respondents would require a mean monetary discount of 13% on functional GM bread compared to standard bread; however, 65% of the sample would be willing to buy GM bread and 33.3% would be willing to pay a premium for functional GM bread. Environmental quality and vitamin content attributes substantially increased bread valuations, but the effect of enhanced shelf life was insignificant. The modelling also indicates that respondents with the highest willingness to pay for functional GM bread are typically young, male, and with a high knowledge of GM, while high-income respondents are more averse to GM foods.

Key words: Choice experiment, second generation ‘functional’ GM foods, UK consumers, willingness to pay.