Consumers’ Valuation of Soft Drinks Labeled with Calorie and Sweetener Information: The Impact of Taste

Karen E. Lewis, Carola Grebitus and Rodolfo M. Nayga
In the U.S., soft drink consumption has been considered one culprit for the obesity epidemic. Improved product labeling is considered a policy tool that can help consumers choose healthier products. This research uses an auction to determine consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for soft drinks labeled with sweetener and calorie information after consumers tasted the soft drinks. Soft drink taste is the primary driver of consumers’ WTP for soft drinks, while sweetener labeling also influences WTP. Calorie labeling has little impact on WTP. Consumers’ least preferred soft drink label was “sweetened with HFCS”; sugar was consumers’ most preferred sweetener ingredient.