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  • Author or Editor: Maria Laura Montero x
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A significant challenge faced by the US Pacific Northwest pear industry is the limited availability of diverse pear cultivars beyond conventional selections. This scant availability of new pear options that align with consumers’ consistent quality preferences falls short of their expectations and jeopardizes potential demand growth, which poses a threat to the industry’s long-term economic viability. We use a combined approach of sensory evaluation and contingent valuation to uncover preferences and willingness to pay (WTP) for specific pear cultivars, encompassing both novel and traditional types. The outcomes reveal that the key determinants driving WTP are taste and texture attributes. Particularly for early-season pears, a greater liking score for flavor, firmness, and juiciness corresponds to an elevated WTP. For late-season pears, the range of quality attributes expands to encompass overall appearance and sweetness, in addition to the aforementioned factors. Participants who use social media to access information about pears exhibit a heightened WTP. These findings provide valuable insights for the industry to consider revitalizing existing pear orchards through the incorporation of alternatives to conventional pear cultivars.

Open Access