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Valuing Quality Attributes and Country of Origin in the Korean Beef Market

Chanjin Chung (), Tracy Boyer () and Sungill Han

Journal of Agricultural Economics, 2009, vol. 60, issue 3, 682-698

Abstract: For beef exporters, one of the important questions in the Korean beef market is why Korean consumers are willing to pay almost three times more for domestic Korean beef than they pay for imported beef. To answer this question, we surveyed 1,000 shoppers in Seoul, Korea, and conducted a conjoint analysis on consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for country equity of domestic vs. imported beef and quality attributes of marbling, freshness, genetically modified organism (GMO)‐free feed ingredients and antibiotic‐free production. Among all factors contributing to the price differentials, the most important factor seems to be the country of origin followed by the use of GMO feeds and antibiotics in beef production, marbling grade and freshness. This study finds that Korean consumers value origins of imported beef approximately $14/lb less than the Korean origin. Korean consumers’ valuation of beef quality and country of origin differs by some demographic groups: older vs. younger generations, homemakers vs. non‐homemakers and consumers who prefer to purchase packaged beef vs. consumers who prefer to purchase butcher shop beef. Our empirical findings suggest that the top priority for beef exporters who wish to increase sales and value of their beef in the Korean market must be to counter Korean consumers’ strong ethnocentrism by improving the value of their country of origin.

Date: 2009
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