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Marco A. Palma, Yu-Jen Chen, Charles Hall, David Bessler and David Leatham

The wholesale value of potted orchids (Orchidaceae) in the United States has risen 80% in the last decade to $126 million in 2007. However, market-related information concerning consumer demand is still very limited. The objective of this study was to identify consumer preferences affecting orchid purchases and the relative importance of different orchid attributes, including species, price, size, and color. A survey to assess orchid market preferences was conducted in Akatsuka Orchid Gardens, headquartered on the Island of Hawaii during the Spring 2008. A conjoint analysis was developed to analyze consumer preferences for orchid attributes. Hawaii is the third largest orchid-consuming state in terms of sales, with $16.8 million in 2007. Most respondents (57.8%) were able to identify the specific orchid species they bought, but a large portion (42.2%) was not able to identify any orchid species. The conjoint analysis results revealed that price was the most important factor affecting the purchasing decision, representing 30.90% of influence, followed by size (26.28%) and species (25.58%), while color (17.23%) was the least important orchid attribute.