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Effects of Attributes not Just-about-right on Consumer Willingness-to-pay for Nutraceutical-rich Juice

Overview of Valuation Tasks

Valuation tasks are non-hypothetical methods that can elicit consumers’ willingness-to-pay for products. Valuation tasks are non-hypothetical because the winner(s) of the experimental mechanism actually pays for a unit of the product. The mechanism requires the consumer to follow through with his/her stated intentions.

Project

Researchers optimized a new pomegranate, black cherry, and Concord juice blend, and they wanted to determine if the optimized formula was well received by consumers. The objective was to describe the cost associated with an attribute not being just-about-right.

Process

Consumers who consumed juice regularly participated in a valuation task. Consumers who had high enough willingness-to-pay values purchased a bottle of juice with their own money and took it home with them. Their willingness-to-pay values were recorded. During the valuation task, consumers tasted the juice and evaluated overall liking and whether the attributes (sweetness, sourness, pomegranate flavor, Concord grape flavor, black cherry flavor, astringency, bitterness) of the product were just-about-right. The data was analyzed to determine the cost of an attribute not being just-about-right.

Outcome

The juice was not sweet enough, which decreased willingness-to-pay $0.25 for every unit on the just-about-right scale. The juice also had too much black cherry flavor ($0.20/unit on the scale) and too much bitterness ($0.29/unit on the scale). The developed method gave the costs associated with a product having non-optimum sensory characteristics, which gave direction to improve the product.

Sensory Spectrum, Inc. protects the confidentiality of its clients. Information from many of the following case studies were adapted from past conference presentations.

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