EU Science Hub

Urban consumers´ response to the EU food mountain labelling: an empirical application in Southern Europe

Abstract: 
Using beef as a typical mountain product, the paper investigates the role of the mountain origin claim among urban consumers in four Pyrenean bordering regions, in France and Spain, applying a choice experiment. Complementarily, breed, intrinsically linked to beef mountain systems is also studied. An Error Components mixed logit model is estimated and attribute non-attendance is analytically derived. Results suggest that the mountain labeling may have a limited impact on consumption, as it is highly non-attended and its Willingness to Pay is low even after controlling for non-attendance. Nevertheless, preference heterogeneity suggest a feasible niche market in Spain. In contrast, the use of breed as a differentiation claim, not currently used in Spain, could have a more immediate impact on consumers' choices. The paper finds synergies between mountain labelling and other quality schemes.