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Discounting Spotted Apples: Investigating Consumers' Willingness to Accept Cosmetic Damage in an Organic Product

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  • Yue, Chengyan
  • Alfnes, Frode
  • Jensen, Helen H.

Abstract

Organic producers have limited methods of avoiding plant diseases that result in cosmetic damage to produce. Therefore, the appearance of organic produce is often less than perfect. We use an experimental auction to investigate how cosmetic damage affects consumers' willingness to pay for organic apples. We find that 75% of the participants are willing to pay more for organic than for conventional apples given identical appearance. However, at the first sight of any imperfection in the appearance of the organic apples, this segment is significantly reduced. Furthermore, we find that there is a significant effect of interaction between cosmetic damage and product methods. Even though most consumers say they buy organic products to avoid pesticides, we find that cosmetic damage has a larger impact on the willingness to pay for organic apples than for conventional apples.
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  • Yue, Chengyan & Alfnes, Frode & Jensen, Helen H., 2009. "Discounting Spotted Apples: Investigating Consumers' Willingness to Accept Cosmetic Damage in an Organic Product," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(01), pages 29-46, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jagaec:v:41:y:2009:i:01:p:29-46_00
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    1. Biguzzi, Coralie & Ginon, Emilie & Gomez-y-Paloma, Sergio & Langrell, Sergio & Lefebvre, Marianne & Marette, Stephan & Mateu, Guillermo & Sutan, Angela, 2014. "Consumers' preferences for Integrated Pest Management: Experimental insights," 2014 International Congress, August 26-29, 2014, Ljubljana, Slovenia 183081, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Aschemann-Witzel, Jessica & de Hooge, Ilona & Amani, Pegah & Bech-Larsen, Tino & Gustavsson, Jenny, 2015. "Consumers and food waste - a review of research approaches and findings on point of purchase and in-household consumer behaviour," 143rd Joint EAAE/AAEA Seminar, March 25-27, 2015, Naples, Italy 202716, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Jessica Aschemann-Witzel & Ilona de Hooge & Pegah Amani & Tino Bech-Larsen & Marije Oostindjer, 2015. "Consumer-Related Food Waste: Causes and Potential for Action," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(6), pages 1-21, May.
    4. Su, Lianfan & Adam, Brian D. & Lusk, Jayson L. & Arthur, Frank, 2011. "A Comparison of Auction and Choice Experiment: An Application to Consumer Willingness to Pay for Rice with Improved Storage Management," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 103975, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Strzok, Jesse Lance, 2012. "Willingness-to-Pay for Organic Food Products and Organic Purity: Experimental Evidence," ISU General Staff Papers 201201010800003857, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    6. Khachatryan, Hayk & Behe, Bridget K. & Campbell, Benjamin L. & Hall, Charles R. & Dennis, Jennifer H., 2013. "Does Eye Tracking Reveal More About the Effects of Buying Impulsiveness on the Green Industry Consumer Choice Behavior?," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150333, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    7. Razzolini, Tiziano, 2013. "How much trustworthy and salubrious an organic jam should be? The impact of organic logo on the Italian jam market," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 1-13.
    8. Strzok, Jesse L. & Huffman, Wallace E., 2012. "Willingness-to-Pay for Organic Food Products and Organic Purity: Experimental Evidence," Staff General Research Papers Archive 35502, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    9. Lefebvre, M. & Biguzzi, C. & Ginon, E. & Gomez y Paloma, Sergio & Langrell, S. R. H. & Marette, S. & Mateu, G. & Sutan, A., 2015. "Mandatory Integrated Pest Management in the European Union: Experimental insights on consumers' reactions," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212038, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    10. Marette, Stéphan & Messéan, Antoine & Millet, Guy, 2012. "Consumers’ willingness to pay for eco-friendly apples under different labels: Evidences from a lab experiment," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 151-161.
    11. McFadden, Jonathan R. & Huffman, Wallace E., 2017. "Willingness-to-pay for natural, organic, and conventional foods: The effects of information and meaningful labels," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 214-232.
    12. Skuza, Nathan & McCracken, Vicki & Ellis, Joan, 3. "Compensation Fees And Willingness To Pay: A Field Experiment On Organic Apples," International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics (IJFAEC), Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University, Department of Economics and Finance, vol. 3(3).

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