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Abstract

Consumer’s preferences for cured ham are investigated with conjoint analysis. A mixed rank-ordered logit model which allows the investigation for heterogeneous preferences and its sources is estimated. In particular, we analyse to what extent consumers’ socio-demographic traits affect their price-sensitiveness and whether consumer’s sensory (hedonic) valuations and attitudes towards ham with a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) affect the preferences for specific attributes. The results show that consumers with a low-medium age and income are more price sensitive. Consumers more leaned sensorially towards the own regional product (with or without PDO), are more inclined to purchase this product, and consumers with a more favourable attitude towards PDO ham, are also more prone to purchase cured ham with quality certification in comparison with a product without PDO. Accordingly, the PDO scheme attracts a segment of consumers, but still the origin by itself is a more powerful signal of quality.

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