A bottom-up model to describe consumers’ preferences towards late season peaches

Etiénne Groot, Luis M. Albisu


Peaches are consumed in Mediterranean countries since ancient times. Nowadays there are few areas in Europe that produce peaches with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), and the Calanda area is one of them. The aim of this work is to describe consumers’ preferences towards late season PDO Calanda peaches in the city of Zaragoza, Spain, by a bottom-up model. The bottom-up model proves greater amount of information than top-down models. In this approach it is estimated one utility function per consumer. Thus, it is not necessary to make assumptions about preference distributions and correlations across respondents. It was observed that preference distributions were neither normal nor independently distributed. If those preferences were estimated by top-down models, conclusions would be biased. This paper also explores a new way to describe preferences through individual utility functions. Results show that the largest behavioural group gathered origin sensitive consumers. Their utility increased if the peaches were produced in the Calanda area and, especially, when peaches had the PDO Calanda brand. In sequence, the second most valuable attribute for consumers was the price. Peach size and packaging were not so important on purchase choice decision. Nevertheless, it is advisable to avoid trading smallest size peaches (weighting around 160 g/fruit). Traders also have to be careful by using active packaging. It was found that a group of consumers disliked this kind of product, probably, because they perceived it as less natural.


PDO Calanda peaches; best-worst choice experiment; stated preference; individual preference

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2015134-7605