Assessing consumer preferences and willingness to pay for organic tomatoes in Albania: a conjoint choice experiment study

Engjell Skreli, Drini Imami, Catherine Chan, Maurizio Canavari, Edvin Zhllima, Ergent Pire

Abstract


Albania has potential for developing the organic agriculture sector; however, it is a new industry and constraints abound including lack of consumer preferences information for organic food. Knowledge on consumer preferences and behaviour toward organic (bio) products is crucial for market development benefiting potential entrepreneurs and government policies. They need to know the preference for preferred product attributes and willingness to pay. Tomato, which is the most important vegetable in terms of consumption and production in Albania, is the subject of this study. A conjoint choice experiment with the most important product attributes: production type (bio vs. conventional), production system (open field vs. greenhouse), origin and price were used to design the choice surveys. Four distinct classes have been identified as significant using latent class analysis. The classes are summarized as: bio-ready consumers, price sensitive consumers, variety seeking consumers and quality seeking consumers. Origin played a small influence on preference. Education and income did show some influence on preference for organic tomatoes. Although the organic food market in Albania is in its infancy stage, organic tomatoes are clearly preferred and many consumers are willing to pay a premium price.


Keywords


consumer behaviour; stated preferences; conjoint choice experiment; latent class analysis; organic food

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References


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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2017153-9889