In the current global market, the development of novel products is important for staying competitive. The development of horticultural products often manifests as new cultivars. Gauging consumer interest is an important step in cultivar development because it is a resource-intensive process. The present study used an experimental auction to measure consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for novel fruit referred to as kiwiberry (Actinidia arguta and Actinidia kolomikta) and explore consumer segmentation for their preferences. The mean WTP for 6-ounce packages of kiwiberries ranged from $1.63 to $2.19, depending on species and cultivar. Four groups of consumers were identified in relation to their WTP for kiwiberries. Using survey data, socio-demographic variables such as age, education, and neophobic attitudes were significantly different between the mixed kiwiberry price premium and kiwiberry discounting groups. These findings suggest that consumers with variety-seeking tendencies have a WTP for kiwiberries that is comparable to that for other berries. Marketing strategies for these groups are proposed.
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- Actinidia arguta
- Actinidia kolomikta
- experimental auction
- willingness to pay