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Abstract

The marginal retail value of coffee attributes are estimated for the U.S. marketHedonic implicit prices identify the marginal market values of alternative products and market strategies. Results indicate that Estate and Fair Trade designations detract, rather than add, value to coffees sold in U.S. retail markets. Organic certification offers no net value-added relative to natural production. Market premiums for origin labeling are limited to coffee exporting areas with long-standing reputations for high quality coffee. There are positive and economically significant rewards to flavor characteristics, roast type and recent innovations in single-serve packaging. Overall, the greatest value opportunity for coffee supplier is in the cup, not in ancillary, non-flavor characteristics.

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