Consumer Preferences: A Guide to Connecticut Apple Marketing

The primary objectives of this research are: (1) to identify the preferences of Connecticut apple consumers regarding product attributes and market characteristics; (2) to assess the impact of Connecticut promotion programs on consumer preference for Connecticut grown apples, and (3) to identify opportunities for more effective marketing of Connecticut grown apples. Information was obtained by interviewing a total of 374 persons purchasing apples at farm stores, pick-your-own orchards, supermarkets, and warehouse stores. Data collection included both direct questions and customer ranking of eight displayed apples. Each of the eight apples was either McIntosh or Red Delicious, 49 or 79 cents per pound, red or relatively green, large or small. Connecticut grown or unspecified origin, waxed or not waxed, and bruised or unbruised. The percentage of customers reporting an awareness of a general promotion program, known as Connecticut Grown, varied from a low of 8.7 percent at farm stores to a high of 32.6 percent at pick-your-own orchards. A somewhat lower percentage of customers reported that they had heard a radio advertisement specifically promoting Connecticut grown apples. Customers rated appearance, texture, sweetness and price as more important than Connecticut grown in deciding which apples to buy. A positive relation, however, was found between awareness of the promotion programs and the importance of Connecticut grown. A customer listing of three favorite apple varieties in order of preference revealed McIntosh to be the most popular first choice at farm stores, pick-your-own orchards, and warehouse stores. Red Delicious was the most popular first choice at supermarkets. Customer ranking of the eight displayed apples with seven attributes in various combinations revealed a preference for low price, a high percentage of red color, large size, waxed, and unbruised. Implied preferences regarding variety and origin were not statistically significant for the composite sample. Data from the ranking experiment were subdivided with regard to customer awareness of each of the two promotion programs. Awareness of the promotion programs was associated with a relatively strong preference for Connecticut grown and a relatively weak preference for low price, waxed, and unbruised.

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Research Report No. 4

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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