A confounded factorial conjoint choice experiment was conducted with 12 University of Nebraska classes (six Animal Science and six Statistics classes) to examine the effects of price, country-of-origin labeling, marbling, tenderness guarantee, traceable-to-the-farm labeling, class discipline and the possibility of receiving a gift on preferences toward beef rib-eye steaks. All factors, except class discipline and the possibility of receiving a gift, had a significant impact on consumer preferences. Based on the odds ratios, the relative importance of these factors were price (1.97), tenderness guarantee (1.92), country-of-origin label (1.68), marbling (1.43) and traceable-to-the-farm labeling (1.30). This relative order of importance was also supported by the willingness-to-pay estimates: tenderness guarantee ($3.03/lb), country-of-origin label ($2.40/lb), marbling ($1.67/lb) and traceable-to-the-farm label ($1.20/lb). Preferences were also affected by a number of interactions. Our results indicated that a tenderness guarantee and country-of-origin label are almost as important as price in student purchase intent, but that the relative importance was dependent upon other factors such as the level of knowledge about beef and marbling level. In addition, the large number of significant interactions indicated and the ability to evaluate these interactions with confounded factorial conjoint experiments demonstrated the importance of using these experimental designs. Practical Applications: The relative importance of the factors studied was price, tenderness guarantee, country-of-origin label, marbling and traceable-to-the-farm labeling. Interactions among the factors also suggested that consumers knowledgeable about beef placed a high value on marbling when the country-of-origin was known, while the country-of-origin label had little impact on the value of marbling for less knowledgeable consumers. These results are useful in the packaging, placement, marketing and advertising of beef steaks. Also, we used confounded factorial conjoint choice experiments, which are promising new designs useful for assessing the effects of many factors and their interactions on consumer preferences that do not overburden respondents with long survey forms and provide more information than traditional choice experimental plans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science