Endowment effects for hedonic and utilitarian food products

L. Cramer, G. Antonides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Part of consumer food habits may be explained by reference effects, status quo bias and loss aversion, but little research has focused on these processes in food choices. This paper is a first attempt at understanding the impact of these effects in consumer decision making with respect to hedonic versus utilitarian food products. In one between-subjects experiment running for a 2-year period 554 pupils and students from different cities in the Netherlands were provided with either a hedonic food product or a utilitarian food product and were given the opportunity to exchange their endowment for the alternative good. The outcomes show that more participants preferred to keep their hedonic good than their utilitarian good in endowment indicating a relatively strong endowment effect for hedonic food products compared to utilitarian food products. The results suggest that status quo bias for hedonic food products may lead to subsequent relatively unhealthy food choices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-10
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • loss aversion
  • decision-making
  • consumer choice
  • status-quo
  • goods
  • rationality
  • consumption
  • psychology
  • valuation
  • frequency


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