Investigating consumer food choice behavior: an application combining sensory evaluation and experimental auctions
Abstract In this study, we investigated which piece of information collected with sensory evaluation tools exhibits better predictive capacity on the willingness to pay: information about preferences for a sensory quality attribute using hedonic scales or information about the perceived intensity for the same attribute using intensity scales. We also estimated if extrinsic or intrinsic quality exerts a similar impact on a consumer’s willingness to pay. We conducted a sensory evaluation along with experimental auctions using three different apple varieties with college students in metropolitan Lima, Peru. Findings from this study show that the information collected on preference for apple quality attributes has a better explanatory capability for willingness to pay than does information regarding consumers’ perceived intensity for the same attribute. The explanatory capability was measured using measures of goodness-of-fit. We also prove that willingness to pay was driven both by the apple variety’s induced intrinsic quality attributes and its extrinsic cues. The results add to the existing body of literature intended to improve the understanding of consumer food choice behavior.