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  • Author or Editor: William Secor x
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Since microgreens entered the market in the 1980s and 1990s, their use has expanded far beyond high-end restaurants. Most microgreens are grown in greenhouses with supplemental lighting (i.e., artificial lighting in addition to sunlight). Supplemental lighting usually includes high-pressure sodium (HPS) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs). HPS is the most common type of supplemental lighting, while LEDs are becoming more common. This article examines consumer preference and willingness to pay (WTP) for microgreens grown with LED lighting compared with HPS lighting and sunlight in the presence of different amounts and types of information. We find that negative information harms WTP, and positive information has little to no impact on WTP. We also examine how other attributes (i.e., price, location produced, production type, location purchased) impact WTP.

Open Access

The COVID-19 pandemic altered the way many consumers and businesses transacted business. Concerning the green industry, many households began gardening and/or purchased more green industry products. As the pandemic ends and households begin to return to normal, green industry firms need to understand this new normal. Using an online national survey of households, we assessed which households were more likely to remain in the market after entering during the height of the pandemic (2020). Findings indicated that younger consumers (i.e., Millennials and younger individuals who were born in 1985 or after) were less likely to indicate they always garden (before the pandemic) but more likely to have started gardening during the pandemic and perceived that they would not continue to garden as states returned to normal (2021). This age group was also more likely to not have gardened in 2020, but they intended to garden in 2021. This finding shows a dichotomy in gardening preferences in this young age group. Further findings indicated that race, household income, number of children in the household, and the impact of the pandemic on the household also help explain the household’s decision to garden or not.

Open Access

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way many businesses conducted business. Notably, regulations imposed by states impacted how green-industry firms sold their plants and landscape products. However, not all states implemented the same stringency of regulations. Using an online consumer survey implemented in Jan 2021, we examine the impact of varying regulation stringencies across five treatment groups (Michigan, and New York, and low, medium, and high stringency). We estimate the difference between 2020 and 2019 self-reported expenditures, in conjunction with propensity score matching to compare each treatment with the other treatments. Results indicate that, for the most part, states with greater stringency associated with their COVID regulations did not impact plant and landscape expenditures negatively between 2019 and 2020. However, Michigan consumers did spend significantly less than medium- and high-stringency states for landscape products. Michigan was one of only two states that put qualifications on green-industry firms, and it was the only state to list green-industry firms as nonessential. Also, New York consumers spent more than low-stringency states, and low-stringency states spent less than high-stringency states for plants. Furthermore, there were no differences in online expenditures between state treatment groups. From a policy perspective, regulation type (i.e., shutting down green-industry sectors as Michigan did) had varying impacts across product categories within the green industry.

Open Access