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Abstract

Fresh produce suppliers in Europe and the United States use a mix of price and non-price marketing strategies. This paper shows that these strategies create, using Mancur Olson's terms, two collective goods: overall consumer confidence in the market's ability to deliver credence attributes, and overall consumer satisfaction with the experience attributes of fresh produce. The characteristics of these two collective goods, i.e., their compatible use and high costs of exclusion, influence the costs, effectiveness, and nature of the marketing strategies of firms. This paper presents examples from the fresh produce industries of Europe and the U.S. to show how compatible-use and high-exclusion costs influence firm strategies. It concludes that there are unavoidable interdependencies that create a need for collective action -- a need that will increase as consumer and retailer demand for quality attributes in fresh produce increases.

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