Globally, nutraceuticals have been increasingly used. Nevertheless, the consumer preferences for nutraceuticals have not been quantitatively investigated. This study used discrete choice experiment (DCE) to examine consumer preferences and willingness to pay for nutraceuticals.
Four attributes (ie, the scientific proof of effectiveness, the scientific proof of safety, the source of recommendation, and cost) were identified from a systematic review and focus group interviews. They were used to develop a DCE questionnaire. Consumers at community pharmacies in Malaysia were asked to respond to 8 DCE choice sets. A conditional logit model was employed to obtain the relative importance of each attribute and to estimate respondents’ WTP for nutraceuticals.
A total of 111 valid responses were analyzed. A negative constant term in the developed model indicated that generally the respondents preferred not to use nutraceuticals before they considered the study attributes. The respondents preferred nutraceuticals with no side effect, clear evidence of effectiveness, and recommendation of a healthcare professional. The respondents were willing to pay $252/month more for nutraceuticals proven with no side effect than for those without proof of safety, and $102/month more for nutraceuticals proven with clear effectiveness than for those without proof of effectiveness.
Consumers weighed relatively high on the availability of safety and effectiveness proofs when they chose nutraceuticals. The study highlights on the crucial need to inform consumers using clinical evidences of nutraceuticals as the information is highly preferred by consumers.
Siew Li Teoh Surachat Ngorsuraches Nai Ming Lai Nathorn Chaiyakunapruk