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Keywords:

  • Consumer preferences;
  • Functional food;
  • Contingent valuation;
  • Apples;
  • Uzbekistan;
  • C25;
  • C83;
  • D12;
  • D83;
  • L66;
  • Q11

Abstract

Food markets in developing countries are experiencing an expansion of new functional products. Even though their market share is small, these food products are usually imported and post a higher price compared to local products. In this article, we investigate the consumer response toward new functional food products in Uzbekistan by focusing on the incorporation of apples enriched with antioxidant coating in the food market. We conduct consumer surveys with two different information treatments. We utilize a dichotomous-choice contingent valuation methodology to estimate willingness to pay for this product and analyze factors that affect consumer choice. The results suggest that the average Uzbek respondent is willing to purchase functional apples with a 6% discount. The effect of information regarding the potential health benefits of antioxidants is positive and statistically significant. We compare the findings with a previous U.S. study of the same product and discuss how the delivery method provides an additional hurdle in the Uzbek market.