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Abstract

To evaluate consumers' willingness to pay (WTP) for Washington apples, the effects of firmness and sweetness as the representative sensory attributes are investigated in addition to those of consumer demographics and preferences. A tasting survey was conducted in Portland, Oregon on two varieties of apples, Gala and Red Delicious. Survey data is analyzed by employing a dichotomous-choice contingent valuation method, the double-bounded model, and maximum likelihood estimates are obtained. This study shows that firmer and sweeter apples induce more WTP. Age is also an important factor affecting WTP for apples. Education, eating frequency, and race affect WTP in the Gala model but not the Red Delicious. Other variables, such as gender, annual household income level, and whether they buy organic food, do not add significant explanatory power in estimating consumers' WTP.

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