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Does information about organic status affect consumer sensory liking and willingness to pay for beer?

Waldrop, Megan E., McCluskey, Jill J.
Agribusiness 2019 v.35 no.2 pp. 149-167
beers, niche markets, organic foods, sensory evaluation, willingness to pay
The organic beer market is in its infancy, but the product category is growing at a high rate. This study evaluates how information about organic status affects consumers’ willingness to pay and sensory liking for beer. Consumer sensory panels were conducted for the purpose of this study with information treatments and valuation questions. In our sample, informing consumers that beer is organic or certified organic does not significantly affect sensory liking scores, and certified organic has a negative marginal effect on willingness to pay, providing evidence that organic is not a vertical quality attribute for beer. However, panelists who regularly purchase craft beer, care about the environment, and/or have an openness to new foods have a higher willingness to pay for organic beer. Our findings suggest that organic beer appeals to a niche market of consumers. [EconLit citations: L15, L66, Q13]