Carina is a 29 year old master student who just finished her Master studies in International Marketing Management at Ludwigshafen University of Applied Sciences (Germany). Before her master studies, she has already successfully completed an apprenticeship as bank business management assistant as well as her bachelor’s degree in Marketing Management.
In order to balance her study activities, one of her free time activities is photography. Carina also likes facing new challenges and enjoying nature while she goes running or geocaching.
Research and goals
People nowadays are increasingly looking for ways to live a healthier life. Food suppliers react on that need by providing functional food products, whose special effects are communicated by health claims. As a result, food is becoming more than just a way to satisfy hunger and provide the necessary nutrients. It can help people to improve physical and mental well-being and prevent nutrition-related diseases. However, the investment in research for those products is very time-consuming and expensive. For this reason, the question arises whether these investments pay off and if consumers are willing to pay more for those products.
Studies have already considered a lot of different aspects regarding health claims, e.g. the influence on purchase intention, product evaluation and information search. However, little research has specifically focused on the willingness-to-pay (WTP) for products with health claims and their add-on-value.
For this reason, the aim of Carinas’ research was to examine, if consumers are willing to pay more for products communicated with health claims.
Carina used Sawtooth Software’s CBC for her master thesis in order to analyze the mentioned topic. This method is beneficial because test persons can choose between different products and thus creates a situation close to reality.
In her research, Carina compared three products with different health perceptions. By using our CBC-Software, she was able to change brands (private brand, branded product and no-name product), claims (health claim, nutrition claim and no claim) and prices in order to get information about the particular WTP.
One of her findings is that health perception has no influence on consumers’ WTP. Additionally, it becomes apparent that the claim is of small importance compared to the price and the brand which turns out to be most important for the WTP.
Nevertheless, the claim can affect consumers’ WTP as well. For this reason, it seems to be important for companies to choose well-known ingredients for their claims which let expect a positive reaction towards the product and thus a higher WTP.
If companies tend to use a widely unknown ingredient for the claim it seems to be better to use a health claim rather than a nutrition claim as these contain at least an explanation about the ingredients’ effectiveness.