Limited information is provided on the potential impacts of ingredients in consumer products to assist
individuals to purchase household products. This study conducted from late 2016 to early 2017 applied the choice experiment technique to examine the preferences of 385 New Zealand households on their purchasing choice of liquid soap for handwashing.
The choice experiment technique models the decision process of an individual or group based on the changes of key attributes of household products. The method enables survey respondents to make trade-offs which are captured by the econometric model. The modelling technique can also help determine if the sample respondents have a price premium for products that have lower environmental impacts.
Results from the choice experiment survey, indicated that a typical respondent from the full sample would be willing to pay premium prices for a bottle of liquid soap that is certified to be environmentally friendly, hypo-allergenic, contains natural ingredients, and has antibacterial properties. This study highlights the importance of accounting for preference heterogeneity across latent classes or respondent sub-groups to better understand preferences and awareness of ingredients in liquid soaps, such as antibacterial chemicals, that can pose environmental and health risks.
This paper was published in Journal of Cleaner Production [PDF, 1 MB]