Date of Graduation

12-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Agricultural & Extension Education (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Agricultural Education, Communications and Technology

Advisor

Kate Shoulders

Committee Member

Jefferson Miller

Second Committee Member

Donald Johnson

Third Committee Member

Curt Rom

Keywords

Agriculture, Arkansas, Food Loss, Food Science, Food Security, Produce

Abstract

This research sought to understand the impact of price reductions on consumer spending behaviors related to the purchase of imperfect produce. Additionally, the correlation between consumers’ demographics and their willingness to purchase imperfect produce at various price points was evaluated. The data was viewed with mindfulness toward reducing food loss as a function of the world food crisis. More specifically, the purpose of this study was to describe the relationship between Washington County, Arkansas consumers’ demographic traits and the percent discount at which they are willing to alter their behavior to purchase specific imperfect produce items. Using the Theory of Planned Behavior as a framework, this study achieved its purpose via a direct consumer survey which collected pricing information and demographic information. The data revealed an expected mean percent discount of 21%, with a range of seven percent to 32% dependent on the type of produce queried. Linear regressions were used to determine if demographics could be used to statistically predict expected price points. The largest explanation of variability occurred between store type and tomatoes with a calculated value of 3.2%. This study has shown that demographics play a very small role in consumer expectations for price of imperfect produce. This study has also shown that consumers expect a wide range of discount dependent on type of produce.

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