Food and Water Safety

Impact of credible certification and information

Investigating effects on consumer demand for safer food in developing countries

It is often assumed that, because of their low ability to pay, consumers in developing countries are less likely to demand higher quality and safer food. However, in developing countries with growing middle-income populations, such as India, demand for safer food remains low despite these consumers’ increasing ability to pay. The overall goal of this project was to investigate whether improved information regarding food safety standards and food safety certification increases the demand for safer and higher quality food in developing countries.

Based on a randomized market experiment conducted in Mumbai, India, the project concluded that credible information and certification are the missing ingredients for capturing consumer demand for safer food in developing countries with growing middle-income populations.