: This study investigates the preferences for ready-to-eat pomegranate arils in Italy through a discrete choice experiment (DCE) on 264 young consumers in Italy. The aim is to estimate consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for the reputational attributes of the product (e.g., the product origin and sales channel) and to discriminate the elicited preferences between tasting and non-tasting situations. To this purpose, a random parameter logit model was employed to assess the heterogeneity in consumer preferences. The results suggest that non-tasters attach a relevant value to the reputational attributes (e.g., +75% WTP for Italian origin). Moreover, considering the sensory features of the products, we found that consumers in this group discriminate against the proposed samples only through their visual characteristics: they prefer the sample with the largest size and red colored arils. In addition, we found that the tasting experience reduced the value attached to the reputational attributes (e.g., −50% WTP for local origin) for consumers, compared to non-tasting situation, thus shifting their preference to the samples that they appreciated the most (high liking). Specifically, we found that consumers in the tasting group preferred the product sample with the highest level of sweetness and the lowest level of sourness and astringency, showing a higher preference for sweetness. The findings contribute to the literature on consumers’ behavior on new food products (NFPs), showing that reputational attributes lose value after the tasting experience. In contrast, the sensory features of the NFPs can help tasters to reduce the information asymmetry, which traditionally represents a hurdle in purchases for new consumers. However, this depends on the individuals’ subjective preferences, as demonstrated by the significant effect of liking levels in discriminating consumers’ choices. To conclude, although these results cannot be extended to the general population, they may give some interesting insights about future trends of NFP demand.

Taste Beats Reputation in New Food Products Choice: The Case of Ready-to-Eat Pomegranate among Young Consumers in Veneto Region (Italy)

Alice Stiletto;Erika Rozzanigo;Elisa Giampietri;Samuele Trestini
2021

Abstract

: This study investigates the preferences for ready-to-eat pomegranate arils in Italy through a discrete choice experiment (DCE) on 264 young consumers in Italy. The aim is to estimate consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for the reputational attributes of the product (e.g., the product origin and sales channel) and to discriminate the elicited preferences between tasting and non-tasting situations. To this purpose, a random parameter logit model was employed to assess the heterogeneity in consumer preferences. The results suggest that non-tasters attach a relevant value to the reputational attributes (e.g., +75% WTP for Italian origin). Moreover, considering the sensory features of the products, we found that consumers in this group discriminate against the proposed samples only through their visual characteristics: they prefer the sample with the largest size and red colored arils. In addition, we found that the tasting experience reduced the value attached to the reputational attributes (e.g., −50% WTP for local origin) for consumers, compared to non-tasting situation, thus shifting their preference to the samples that they appreciated the most (high liking). Specifically, we found that consumers in the tasting group preferred the product sample with the highest level of sweetness and the lowest level of sourness and astringency, showing a higher preference for sweetness. The findings contribute to the literature on consumers’ behavior on new food products (NFPs), showing that reputational attributes lose value after the tasting experience. In contrast, the sensory features of the NFPs can help tasters to reduce the information asymmetry, which traditionally represents a hurdle in purchases for new consumers. However, this depends on the individuals’ subjective preferences, as demonstrated by the significant effect of liking levels in discriminating consumers’ choices. To conclude, although these results cannot be extended to the general population, they may give some interesting insights about future trends of NFP demand.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3397160
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