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Does taste beat food safety? Evidence from the Pera Rocha case in Portugal

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  • Combris, Pierre
  • Pinto, Alexandra Seabra
  • Fragata, Antonio
  • Giraud-Heraud, Eric

Abstract

Until recently, fresh fruits such as pears were provided to markets as generic products. However, these products are now differentiated by cultivars, origins and appearances, as well as by companies production and processing methods. Therefore, we observe a lot of denominations of origin, retailers and private labels in order to signal the differentiation to the consumers, who are often willing to pay large price premiums for products with specific attributes. Indeed the value consumers put on fruits depends on the degree of product-information that are available to them and this information derives mainly from tasting and from the label of the products. In this paper, we used an experimental auction to investigate how quality attributes information affects consumers willingness to pay for different types of pears, particularly choosing the Portuguese "Rocha" pear variety. The BDM auction mechanism was combined with sensory analyses in order to develop an integrated approach to evaluate product attributes. The main results show that information on the products characteristics related to food safety instantly influences consumers willingness to pay. However, it appears that sensory intrinsic attributes related to taste finally beats the guarantee of food safety in driving the buying behaviour.

Suggested Citation

  • Combris, Pierre & Pinto, Alexandra Seabra & Fragata, Antonio & Giraud-Heraud, Eric, 2007. "Does taste beat food safety? Evidence from the Pera Rocha case in Portugal," 105th Seminar, March 8-10, 2007, Bologna, Italy 7879, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:eaa105:7879
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Mwiti, Florine K. & Okello, Julius J. & Munei, Kimpei & Low, Jan, 2016. "Assessment of farmer willingness to pay for quality planting materials of biofortified and non-biofortified varieties of sweetpotato," 2016 AAAE Fifth International Conference, September 23-26, 2016, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 249327, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    2. Avitia, Jessica & Costa-Font, Montserrat & Gil, Jose Maria & Lusk, Jayson L. & Echeverria, Gemma, 2012. "The Role of sensory experience on Spanish consumer’s willingness to pay for sustainable produced food," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126545, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Gallardo, Rosa Karina, 2011. "Choice Experiments’ Findings: A Tool for Fruit Agribusiness Managers’ Decision Making," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 14(3).
    4. Watson, Jonathan Adam & Wysocki, Allen F. & Gunderson, Michael A. & Brecht, Jeffrey K. & Sims, Charles A., 2012. "Fresh Hammock-Packed Bartlett Pears: Implications For Marketing Based On Consumers’ Willingness To Pay For Sensory Attributes And Return On Invesment Potential," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 125068, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Carrillo-Rodriguez, Lilian & Gallardo, R. Karina & Yue, Chengyan & McCracken, Vicki A. & Luby, James & McFerson, James R., 2013. "Consumer preferences for apple quality traits," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150503, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Gallardo, Rosa Karina & Kupferman, Eugene M. & Beaudry, Randolph M. & Blankenship, Sylvia M. & Mitcham, Elizabeth J. & Watkins, Christopher B., 2011. "Market Quality of Pacific Northwest Pears," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 42(2), July.

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