Valuation of Internal Quality Characteristics Across Apple Cultivars



Since the 1980s, the composition of the fresh apple market has shifted from three fourths Red Delicious to about one third in 2012. Gala apples are one of the cultivars that have gained ground in popularity. In this article, the authors compare how internal fruit qualities affect consumers’ willingness to pay for apples and whether these effects differ across these two cultivars. Consumers are willing to pay more for firmness for both cultivars, with a larger effect for Red Delicious. Using consumer assessments of sweetness acceptability, consumers are willing to pay a positive amount for both cultivars, but the effect of sweetness is higher for Gala apples. The only significant ethnicity variable is being Hispanic, which is associated with lower willingness to pay for Gala and higher willingness to pay for Red Delicious. One possible explanation is that the Hispanic consumers may have stronger food traditions associated with Red Delicious. [EconLit Citations: Q13, L15].