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Title:Consumer perceptions of and willingness to pay for lettuce from different agricultural production systems
Author(s):Coyle, Bradford David
Advisor(s):Ellison, Brenna
Department / Program:Agr & Consumer Economics
Discipline:Agricultural & Applied Econ
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):vertical farming, fresh produce, food safety, consumer preferences, willingness to pay
Abstract:Vertical farming is a technologically advancing agricultural production method with the potential to change the way lettuce (and other produce) is grown. However, less is known about how consumers will react to this new technology in the marketplace. In this study, we examine consumers’ perceptions of and willingness to pay (WTP) for lettuce produced in three different production systems: vertical farm, greenhouse and field farm. Additionally, we assess whether providing information on the three production systems alters perceptions and/or WTP, particularly in the case of vertical farming. We conducted Becker-DeGroot-Marschak revealed preference auctions with over 100 participants to determine WTP, where participants were randomly assigned to receive (or not receive) information on the three production systems. Results suggest that consumers generally perceive vertical farming favorably and at comparable levels to greenhouse and field farm production systems for attributes such as safety, quality and cost expectations, yet is viewed as less natural and less likely to be purchased by the average consumer. Further, we find that consumer WTP for vertically farmed lettuce was not significantly different than lettuce produced by either a greenhouse or a field farm, but WTP was lower for participants who received the information treatment.
Issue Date:2017-07-17
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Bradford Coyle
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-08-14
Date Deposited:2017-08

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