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University of Nebraska study claims more food regulation will boost profits

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(The Center Square) – A recent University of Nebraska study contends that more food regulations benefit the public and food companies’ bottom lines.

The study said companies should prioritize healthy options and even lobby policymakers to create laws around food to encourage healthy eating, according to a press release from the college.

Past studies argue that food regulations, like health messaging and taxing unhealthy foods, “have widespread public support and are changing consumer choices,” the release argues.

Business professors Özgür Araz and S. Sajeesh, and a City University of New York colleague, constructed an analytical model to better understand how such changes impact food companies’ decision-making.

“There is this idea that if consumers are going to benefit, then firms are going to lose out,” Sajeesh, associate professor of marketing, said. “Our study shows that, under some conditions, firm profits and social welfare can go up simultaneously. It’s a powerful idea because it highlights that government regulators can take actions that benefit society at large without pushback from private organizations.”

Their study said companies have responded to consumer demand by making their foods healthier.

“In turn, profits are rising, partly because people are willing to pay more for healthier foods,” the release said.

Profits are also increasing due to decreased competition, the release said. The journal Production and Operations Management published their research.

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