Abstract

Food consumers face uncertainty and demand high quality and safe food products, apparently with as much information as possible. Today's agriculture and food industry aims at reducing market failures from information asymmetry. Such information provision can be successful only if it meets the information needs of the target audience. This paper focuses first on individual characteristics that shape information needs, and then discusses information provision through mass media and labelling. It emerges that consumer needs for information cannot be taken for granted. The provision of ever more and too detailed information entails a risk of information overload, resulting in consumer indifference or loss of confidence. Instead, segmentation and targeted information provision are proposed as potential solutions to market failure from information asymmetry.

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