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Marketing Biotech Soybeans with Functional Health Attributes


  • S. Kambua Chema
  • Leonie A. Marks
  • Joseph L. Parcell
  • Maury Bredahl


"This study investigates possible marketing strategies for biotechnology (biotech) functional foods in the U.S. market. Means-end chain theory is used to translate consumer product knowledge into self-knowledge, where knowledge is presumed to be organized in a hierarchy with concrete thoughts linked to more abstract thoughts in a sequence progressing from means to ends. A sample of 60 households was randomly drawn from the population of a Midwest town. The random sample was drawn from a population of females aged 20 to 50 with children and who regularly purchase yogurt products. Eight products with various attributes and production technologies were ranked by the participants prior to a hard laddering interview. The study found that biotech functional foods were generally acceptable to the participants. Functional attributes, such as higher protein, increased calcium, and lower cholesterol, were valued by the consumers. Soy was considered inferior on the basis of taste for some segments of consumers unfamiliar with soymilk. On the other hand, consumers already purchasing soymilk were more willing to purchase functional soy attributes and have more complex purchasing decisions (cognitive maps). These consumers associate soy with attaining values of "better health,""taking care of family,""happiness," and "more choice."" Copyright 2006 Canadian Agricultural Economics Society.

Suggested Citation

  • S. Kambua Chema & Leonie A. Marks & Joseph L. Parcell & Maury Bredahl, 2006. "Marketing Biotech Soybeans with Functional Health Attributes," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 54(4), pages 685-703, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:canjag:v:54:y:2006:i:4:p:685-703

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David R. Bell & Jeongwen Chiang & V. Padmanabhan, 1999. "The Decomposition of Promotional Response: An Empirical Generalization," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(4), pages 504-526.
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    5. Browne, A. W. & Harris, P. J. C. & Hofny-Collins, A. H. & Pasiecznik, N. & Wallace, R. R., 2000. "Organic production and ethical trade: definition, practice and links," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 69-89, February.
    6. Bacon, Christopher, 2005. "Confronting the Coffee Crisis: Can Fair Trade, Organic, and Specialty Coffees Reduce Small-Scale Farmer Vulnerability in Northern Nicaragua?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 497-511, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Osman Gulseven & Michael Wohlgenant, 2015. "A quality-based approach to estimating quantitative elasticities for differentiated products: an application to retail milk demand," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 49(5), pages 2077-2096, September.
    2. Hansson, Helena & Lagerkvist, Carl Johan, 2015. "Identifying use and non-use values of animal welfare: Evidence from Swedish dairy agriculture," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 35-42.
    3. Bechtold, Kai-Brit & Abdulai, Awudu, 2012. "Willingness-To-Pay for Functional Dairy Products and the Influence of Starting Point Bias: Empirical Evidence for Germany," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124776, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. Ramo Barrena & Mercedes Sánchez, 2010. "The link between household structure and the level of abstraction in the purchase decision process: an analysis using a functional food," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(2), pages 243-264.
    5. Parcell, Joseph L. & Cain, Jewelwayne S., 2013. "Drought Tolerance of Soybean Crops in Missouri," 2013 Annual Meeting, February 2-5, 2013, Orlando, Florida 142507, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    6. Bechtold, Kai-Brit & Abdulai, Awudu, 2013. "Combining Likert scale attitudinal statements with choice experiments to analyze pref-erence heterogeneity for functional dairy products," 87th Annual Conference, April 8-10, 2013, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 158851, Agricultural Economics Society.
    7. Bechtold, Kai-Brit & Abdulai, Awudu, 2012. "Using Choice Experiments to Measure Consumers’ Preferences for Functional Dairy Products in Germany: Are Willingness-To-Pay Estimates Affected by Starting Point Bias?," 86th Annual Conference, April 16-18, 2012, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 135073, Agricultural Economics Society.

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