Journal of Pest Science, 2014, 87 (2): 249-258.
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Abstract: Alexandra Grygorczyk, Jessica Turecek and Isabelle Lesschaeve. The current study aimed to determine how the pest management practice applied during crop production may impact consumer purchase intentions of an edible (tomato) and a non-edible (chrysanthemum) greenhouse crop. The study examined five pest management practices and applied conjoint analysis to evaluate the relative importance of the pest management practice compared to several other product factors (price, benefit claims related to the pest management practice, tomato variety/flower colour, quality) in contributing to consumers’ purchase intentions. Out of the factors examined, price (26–29 % relative importance) and the pest management practice (22–25 % relative importance) were the most important to consumers. In both studies, there were segments of the sampled populations (13.5–24 %) for whom the pest management practice was the most important factor driving purchase decisions. These segments had significantly more consumers with low confidence in science and technology and preferred products grown using organic practices or pests’ natural predators. In the tomatoes study (crop intended for consumption), the proportion of pest management conscious consumers nearly doubled compared to the chrysanthemums study. Findings suggest that making consumers aware that a product has been produced using pests’ natural predators (i.e. using biocontrol strategies) for pest management could convince a significant segment of the population to purchase these products over other similar products. When the crop is edible, a higher proportion of consumers becomes concerned with the production practice.