In recent years, the public debate on the health and sustainability of palm oil and its use by food industries has strongly influenced consumer choices. Consequently, palm oil-free products have asserted their image as healthier and more sustainable food products. The current paper contributes to the extant knowledge on consumers’ perception of palm oil, particularly concerning preferences for food products carrying a “palm oil-free” label on their packaging. A web survey with a sample of 291 individuals was performed. Determinants of consumers’ preferences towards the “palm oil-free” label were estimated with an ordered logistic model using as the dependent variable the purchasing frequency of palm oil-free foods and a set of independent variables. Results show that respondents generally prefer palm oil-free products, perceiving these products as healthier or eco-friendly. Furthermore, individuals are strongly influenced by the available information on these foods that may guide their choices for palm oil-free foods, which may be perceived as cleaner. Findings also highlight the low degree of information on this ingredient, underlining the need for public information and communication campaigns through different media, in order to emphasize that no scientifically proven negative health effect is currently attributed to palm oil consumption.
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