Prospects for U.S. Rice in Japanese Retail Markets Under COOL: A Sensory Experiment

John C. Bernard, Katie Gifford, Hikaru Hanawa Peterson, John A. Fox, Lenna K. Schott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


ABSTRACT: Japanese policies leave its retail market closed to U.S. rice. This study examined prospects of U.S. rice if these markets opened, with required country-of-origin labeling (COOL). Data were from auction experiments examining preferences for U.S. and Japanese rice under two scenarios (COOL with observation and COOL with tasting) using Japanese female primary shoppers. Two segments were identified: those open to U.S. rice at prices equal or above domestic, as likely due to tariffs, and those closed to U.S. rice at any price. About 7% of subjects were in the first segment, while nearly 26% fell in the latter. Tasting failed to generate large changes. Frequent COOL readers were especially closed even after tasting. Tasting did change the profile of open consumers, with demographics mattering less afterward. Under any policy change, U.S. rice would need a discounted price relative to domestic rice; even then, a substantial market segment appears closed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-116
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of International Food and Agribusiness Marketing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • COOL
  • Japan
  • rice
  • tasting
  • willingness-to-pay


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