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Willingness to Pay, Quality Perception, and Local Foods: The Case of Broccoli

  • Xiaoli Fan, Miguel I. Gómez and Phillip S. Coles

Abstract

A large and growing body of literature has studied consumer willingness to pay (WTP) for local foods in the United States. However, these studies implicitly assume that consumers perceive local foods to have superior quality than nonlocal foods. Little is known about WTP for local foods when taking into account differences in consumer perception of food quality between local and nonlocal foods. In this article, we conduct an economic experiment to assess the effect of locally grown information on consumer WTP and quality perceptions of three broccoli varieties (one commercial variety grown in California and two newly developed local varieties). Our results show that consumers rate both the appearance and the taste of the two local broccoli varieties lower than the California variety when evaluating food quality blindly. However, consumers’ evaluations of the two local varieties improve substantially after being told the two varieties are locally grown. Results also indicate that consumers are willing to pay a price premium for the two local varieties after being told that they are locally grown. Our results provide evidence that locally grown information has a positive effect on both consumer WTP and quality perception of local foods.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Correspondence: Xiaoli Fan, 515 General Service Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AlbertaT6G 2H1, Canada. Email address: xiaoli@ualberta.ca

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Willingness to Pay, Quality Perception, and Local Foods: The Case of Broccoli

  • Xiaoli Fan, Miguel I. Gómez and Phillip S. Coles

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