Consumer Tastes, Preferences, and Behavior in Purchasing Fresh Tomatoes

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Department of Agricultural Economics and Marketing, P.O. Box 231, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903-0231

Face-to-face interviews of produce customers at Kings Super Markets in New Jersey yielded data on consumers' tastes and preferences, quantities purchased, and prices paid for fresh tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). Purchase behavior indicated that during the local season, consumers preferred tomatoes grown in New Jersey to tomatoes from other origins. Data were fitted to demand equations to determine the factors affecting demand for fresh tomatoes. Tomato origin significantly influenced consumer purchases. Consumer perceptions of product characteristics such as color, freshness nutrition, and appearance do not appear to significantly influence tomato purchase patterns. However, prices of the) tomatoes or substitutes and income were important determinants of quantity purchased of both New Jersey grown and other tomatoes. New Jersey grown tomatoes were generally perceived to be of superior quality.

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