Consumer Preferences for Fresh Apples in the Mid-Atlantic

Open Access
Author:
Baugher, Nettie Irene
Area of Honors:
Plant Sciences
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Kathy Kelley, Thesis Supervisor
  • Robert Berghage, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • GMO
  • Organic
  • Locally Grown
  • Apple Fruit Consumers
  • CRISPR Cas-9
  • Fresh Apples
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • IPM certification
Abstract:
This research project gathers input from Mid-Atlantic consumers about their fresh apple purchases. The main research questions addressed during the course of this project were: How do consumers in the Mid-Atlantic feel about the health and safety of the apples they consume? How might their future apple consumption change? What are consumers’ attitudes toward “Certified Organic”, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), and how much are they willing to pay for these products if they perceive they have added value? From what types of markets do consumer purchase apples, and how can retailers market their apples to attract customers? A 15-minute Internet survey was developed to collect information from apple consumers who resided in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, or Washington, D.C. Survey data were analyzed with SPSS (Versions 24; SPSS, Chicago, IL), and statistical analyses were used to assess differences in responses relating to general health and safety of apples, organic labels, IPM, GMO, and how consumers choose where they purchase the fruit. The outcomes of this project are intended to help industry stakeholders better understand consumer needs and develop appropriate marketing strategies.