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Abstract

This study employs factor and cluster analysis techniques to explore a national-level dataset of fresh produce consumers. Specifically, we characterize the major sources of variation in the dataset using four internally-derived factors, and then use these factors to split the data into five consumer segments using cluster analysis. We then examine the major differences in preferences and willingness to pay across these groups with respect to various produce attributes, production processes, and production locality. We explore the traditional concerns such as taste, purity, and freshness, but also account for civic agricultural issues such as local production and production systems which tend to be associated with higher levels of environmental quality (e.g., organic production), as well as the impact on consumer preferences from information about nutrition and the source of purchase of fresh produce.

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