Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

One Bad Apple: Consumers Prefer Perfect Produce

Date:
December 3, 2007
Source:
American Society for Horticultural Science
Summary:
Consumers don't like blemishes -- on apples, that is. The study of consumer values found that low tolerance for cosmetically damaged apples impacts consumers' purchasing decisions.

Apple photograph presented to survey participants depicting 0% (U), 1% (V), 3% (W), 5% (X), 7% (Y), and 9% (Z) coverage of cosmetic damage.
Credit: Chengyan Yue

Consumers don't like blemishes, at least on apples, that is. The study of consumer values led by Chengyan Yue, PhD, Assistant Professor of Horticultural Science & Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, found that low tolerance for cosmetically damaged apples impacts consumers' purchasing decisions.

The study looked at consumers' preferences for either organically or conventionally grown apples to gauge buyers' tolerance for blemishes and other "cosmetic" defects. The findings were clear: when given a choice between organically grown apples with surface blemishes or conventionally grown apples, consumers prefer the conventionally grown apples because they "look better". Even though consumers understand that spots are merely a cosmetic problem and do not affect the taste or quality of the apples, buyers prefer apples with a better appearance.

Consumers in Midwestern markets were surveyed to determine their preference between cosmetic appearance and organic production methods in terms of their willingness to pay for organic apples in the market. Results showed consumers will pay a premium for organic production methods and for apples with low amounts of cosmetic damage. "Consumers have limited tolerance for very blemished apples and they tend to discount production technology attributes in favor of cosmetic appearance. Better understanding of this trade-off can improve organic producers' decisions about disease control.", Yue stated.

Dr.Yue explained the background for the research, noting that organic apple producers must control weeds and monitor and respond rapidly to harmful diseases and insects. Unlike producers who use conventional growing methods, proponents of organic growing methods are limited in the ways they can utilize weed management and pest control. "While there are higher costs and risks in organic production, the additional income from the higher price of an organic product may be appealing. But organic producers' limited methods of control may produce apples with cosmetic damage, which consumers may discount in the marketplace.", he said.

Results from the consumer study have important implications for apple and other fresh fruit growers. The relatively low consumer acceptance of cosmetically imperfect apples narrows the margin of error and presents challenges for organic growers. Organic apple producers must account for the trade-off between production technology and cosmetic damage in their production decisions. Yue observed that, in addition to improving management methods and using inputs effectively, taking more care in preparing apples for sale may also provide producers with opportunities for improved presentation of cosmetically damaged apples in the retail market.

To help organic apple producers market their crops, researchers suggest implementing additional marketing and promotional techniques, such as including recipes and tips for using and storing apples. Labeling apples "locally grown" also spikes consumer interest. According to Yue, apple growers who take careful measures to improve product appearance will see increased consumer confidence and sales.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Society for Horticultural Science. "One Bad Apple: Consumers Prefer Perfect Produce." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 December 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071203094844.htm>.
American Society for Horticultural Science. (2007, December 3). One Bad Apple: Consumers Prefer Perfect Produce. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071203094844.htm
American Society for Horticultural Science. "One Bad Apple: Consumers Prefer Perfect Produce." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071203094844.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) An animal rescue in Washington state receives an influx of orphaned squirrels, keeping workers busy as they nurse them back to health. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) In a new study, a promising experimental treatment for Ebola managed to cure a group of infected macaque monkeys. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins