Do consumers have an appetite for discolored beef?
F. Bailey Norwood and
Agribusiness, 2020, vol. 36, issue 4, 631-652
Consumers prefer beef to be bright, cherry red in color. As beef becomes discolored, consumers may perceive it to be unwholesome, reducing their willingness‐to‐pay (WTP). This study uses a choice experiment in an online survey to measure how discoloration affects consumer WTP for beef steak and ground beef. A cheap talk script combined with a trap question designed to simultaneously reduce hypothetical bias as well as measurement error caused by inattentive respondents is included in the survey. Results indicate even slightly discolored beef may require at least a 50% discount before the average consumer will purchase it. However, through latent class analysis, consumer preferences for discolored steak and ground beef are found to be heterogeneous with several latent classes identified. Thus, if the quantity of discolored meat to be sold is low, retailers can sell discolored meat at smaller discounts to consumers in one of the subgroups with less discriminating discoloration preferences [EconLit Citations: D10, D12, Q18].
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