Consumer Willingness to Pay for Swiss Chicken Meat: An In-store Survey to Link Stated and Revealed Buying Behaviour
In a global economy food origin is gaining increasing attention as determining purchase criterion in food consumption. Consequently, for many consumers a product’s country-of-origin (COO) is an important cue in evaluating both domestic and foreign products. A double-bounded dichotomous choice approach in an in-store setting was used to assess consumers’ preference and willingness-to-pay (WTP) for the product attribute “Swiss origin” relative to “European origin” for chicken meat. Data collection took place in the poultry section of six grocery stores in Francophone Switzerland. Sample selection was based on the consumer’s purchase decision, that is only actual chicken buyers were questioned. During the survey product data of participants’ actual purchase were recorded. Thus, both hypothetical stated and revealed consumer behaviour data were collected. Based on 450 records we highlight four different consumer segments, notably “Loyal Swiss”, “Low Price Swiss Zappers”, “Price Orientated”, and „The Gourmets”. At an equal price, 90% of the entire sample prefers Swiss chicken meat. To elicit mean WTP for “Swiss origin” we used logit analysis. The results indicate that mean WTP differs significantly between the highlighted consumer segments. “Loyal Swiss” – medium to high priced Swiss chicken meat consumers – are willing to pay a premium of about 7.40 Euros per kilo chicken breast of Swiss origin. This premium corresponds with actual price differences of at most 7.50 €/kg for Swiss chicken breast relative to European found in the researched grocery stores. “Low Price Swiss Zappers” are willing to pay a premium of 2.10 €/kg chicken breast of Swiss origin. In contrast, the “Price Orientated” and „The Gourmets” are not willing to pay any premium for Swiss origin. This corresponds with their revealed purchase behaviour as they bought imported European chicken. Considering mean WTP for the entire sample of 3.00 €/kg for Swiss origin, we conclude that this is not a good predictor for specific consumer segments. It over-, or underestimates mean WTP of the highlighted consumer segments. Using both stated and revealed consumer behaviour data, we are able to calculate consumer group specific mean WTP which leads to more appropriate results for agribusiness and marketing purposes.
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