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Consumer Demand For Ecolabeled Apples: Survey Methods And Descriptive Results


  • Blend, Jeffrey R.
  • van Ravenswaay, Eileen O.


This paper examines potential consumer demand for ecolabeled apples. Since apples are purchased by 90% of U.S. households, we are able to investigate the choices of a large and diverse cross section of consumers. Focusing on a single agricultural product such as apples enables us to investigate more specific and realistic consumer choices. This paper also examines how different types of ecolabel claims might affect consumer demand. Ecolabels may vary in terms of the comprehensiveness of their environmental claims and the amount of proof substantiating claims. Ecolabels might claim to reduce only a single environmental impact or they might claim to reduce multiple environmental impacts. There may be no proof for the claims other than seller reputation or the claims might be documented and verified by a highly reputable third party (e.g. government agency, private firm, non-profit environmental group). Each unique combination of claim comprehensiveness and proof represents a different ecolabel and thus a different good. This paper examines how two levels of claim comprehensiveness and two forms of proof affect consumer demand. Finally, this paper examines factors affecting consumer demand for ecolabels. These factors include prices, income, household size and education. They also include familiarity with the claim and personal motivations such as improved health and environmental concerns. Both the purchase location of apples and whether or not an individual normally buys organic are also examined.

Suggested Citation

  • Blend, Jeffrey R. & van Ravenswaay, Eileen O., 1998. "Consumer Demand For Ecolabeled Apples: Survey Methods And Descriptive Results," Staff Paper Series 11645, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:midasp:11645
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.11645

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Buzby, Jean C. & Skees, Jerry R. & Ready, Richard C., 1995. "Chapter 12: USING CONTINGENT VALUATION TO VALUE FOOD SAFETY: A CASE STUDY OF GRAPEFRUIT AND PESTICIDE RESIDUES," Book: Valuing Food Safety and Nutrition (1995), Regional Research Project NE-165 Private Strategies, Public Policies, and Food System Performance, number 25972, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rowles, Kristin, 2001. "Industry Analysis: Apple Processors in the Northeastern U.S," Staff Papers 121125, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    2. Jean-Marie Codron & Lucie Siriex & Thomas Reardon, 2006. "Social and environmental attributes of food products in an emerging mass market: Challenges of signaling and consumer perception, with European illustrations," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 23(3), pages 283-297, October.
    3. Rodriguez, Elsa M. & Lacaze, Maria Victoria & Lupin, Beatriz, 2008. "Contingent Valuation of Consumers’ Willingness-to-Pay for Organic Food in Argentina," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 43947, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Johan Graafland, 2017. "Religiosity, Attitude, and the Demand for Socially Responsible Products," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 121-138, August.
    5. Rodriguez, Elsa M. & Lacaze, Maria Victoria & Lupin, Beatriz, 2007. "Willingness to pay for organic food in Argentina: Evidence from a consumer survey," 105th Seminar, March 8-10, 2007, Bologna, Italy 7873, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. Rodríguez, Elsa Mirta M., 2011. "Consumers preferences for bio-based products and market analysis," Nülan. Deposited Documents 2556, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Sociales, Centro de Documentación.
    7. Codron, Jean-Marie & Sterns, James A. & Reardon, Thomas, 2003. "Strategic Choices In Produce Marketing: Issues Of Compatible Use And Exclusion Costs," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 34(3), pages 1-12, November.


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