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Discounting Spotted Apples: Investigating Consumersï¾’ Willingness to Accept Cosmetic Damage in an Organic Product

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

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 consumersï¾’ 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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File URL: http://www.econ.iastate.edu/sites/default/files/publications/papers/paper_12693.pdf
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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 12693.

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Date of creation: 06 Apr 2009
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, April 2009, vol. 41 no. 1, pp. 29-46
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:12693
Contact details of provider: Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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  1. Anne Rozan, 2004. "Willingness-to-pay for food safety: an experimental investigation of quality certification on bidding behaviour," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 31(4), pages 409-425, December.
  2. Roosen, Jutta & Fox, John A. & Hennessy, David A. & Schreiber, Alan, 1998. "Consumers' Valuation Of Insecticide Use Restrictions: An Application To Apples," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 23(02), December.
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  4. Gary D. Thompson & Julia Kidwell, 1998. "Explaining the Choice of Organic Produce: Cosmetic Defects, Prices, and Consumer Preferences," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(2), pages 277-287.
  5. Bruno Larue & Gale E. West & Carole Gendron & Rémy Lambert, 2004. "Consumer response to functional foods produced by conventional, organic, or genetic manipulation," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(2), pages 155-166.
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  8. Ty Feldkamp & Ted C. Schroeder, 2004. "Experimental Auction Procedure: Impact on Valuation of Quality Differentiated Goods," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(2), pages 389-405.
  9. Erik Magnusson & J. A. L. Cranfield, 2005. "Consumer Demand for Pesticide Free Food Products in Canada: A Probit Analysis," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 53(1), pages 67-81, 03.
  10. Alfnes, Frode & Guttormsen, Atle G. & Steine, Gro & Kolstad, Kari, 2005. "Consumers' Willingness To Pay For The Color Of Salmon:A Choice Experiment With Real Economic Incentives," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19126, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  11. Jason F. Shogren & John A. Fox, 1996. "Consumer Preferences for Fresh Food Items with Multiple Quality Attributes: Evidence from an Experimental Auction of Pork Chops," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(4), pages 916-923.
  12. Jeffrey R. Blend & Eileen O. van Ravenswaay, 1999. "Measuring Consumer Demand for Ecolabeled Apples," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1072-1077.
  13. Darby, Michael R & Karni, Edi, 1973. "Free Competition and the Optimal Amount of Fraud," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 67-88, April.
  14. Loureiro, Maria L. & McCluskey, Jill J. & Mittelhammer, Ronald C., 2001. "Assessing Consumer Preferences For Organic, Eco-Labeled, And Regular Apples," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 26(02), December.
  15. W. Bruce Traill, 2004. "Effect of information about benefits of biotechnology on consumer acceptance of genetically modified food: evidence from experimental auctions in the United States, England, and France," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 31(2), pages 179-204, June.
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