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ABSTRACT

Consumers increasingly subscribe to community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs as an alternative retail channel for fresh produce. Compared with supermarket retailers, CSAs are built around an ethos of community rather than efficiency and economies of scale; and CSA programs demand far greater customer co-production than supermarket retailers. For instance, CSA members (customers) assume responsibilities for physical distribution, market timing, and financial risk taking—activities that, for customers of traditional supermarkets, are assumed by the retailer or other market intermediaries. Service-dominant logic suggests that such co-production activities provide value for consumers. And the expanding demand for CSA programs anecdotally supports the notion that consumers find value in co-producing fresh produce. However, whether or not co-production leads to greater satisfaction with a product category remains largely untested. We draw on community theory to test if engagement in co-production activities leads to satisfaction with a product category. By examining product satisfaction, we test an outcome of co-production that is consumer-centric. Results from an exploratory field study suggest that two types of value co-creation—commitment to co-production and behavioral involvement in product-related activities—are positively correlated with product satisfaction. Our results support the notion that value co-creation provides value for consumers. Interestingly, these findings are antithetical to studies that suggest service convenience constitutes non-monetary value for consumers. Our study suggests that the community theory is a viable theoretical frame for consumer research on co-production. Further, our findings suggest that consumer research into the co-creation of value should incorporate measures of product satisfaction and draw on behavioral as opposed to exclusively attitudinal assessments of co-production activities. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.