Estimating consumers' valuation of organic and cosmetically damaged apples

Chengyan Yue, Helen H. Jensen, Daren S. Mueller, Gail R. Nonnecke, Douglas Bonnet, Mark L. Gleason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The sooty blotch and flyspeck (SBFS) disease complex causes cosmetic damage but does not affect the safety or eating quality of apples. Treatment for disease is more difficult and costly for organic producers, and consumers' willingness to pay for organic apples needs to be considered in growers' choice of production technologies. A mixed probit model was applied to survey data to evaluate consumers' willingness to buy apples. The results show consumers will pay a premium for organic production methods and for apples with low amounts of SBFS damage. Behavioral variables such as experience growing fruit significantly affect the willingness to buy apples of different damage levels. Consumers have limited tolerance of very blemished apples and trade off production technology attributes for cosmetic appearance. Better understanding of this tradeoff can improve organic producers' decisions about disease control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1366-1371
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 2007


  • Consumer willingness to buy
  • Fruit quality
  • Sooty blotch and flyspeck

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