Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Agricultural Economics

First Advisor

Dr. Timothy Woods

Second Advisor

Dr. Wuyang Hu


This project investigates the impacts of nutrition merchandising on consumers’ willingness to pay for local tomatoes and strawberries. The data come from survey of Kentucky and Ohio residents in June 2011. Two thousand one hundred twelve individuals from Kentucky and Ohio were surveyed, to find out the impact of selfawareness of health benefits and health benefits information on their willingness to pay. The consumers were offered one of the three survey versions. The versions varied by how much nutrition information was provided to the consumer related to both strawberries and tomatoes – otherwise identical. A had the most, B had text only, and C omitted any nutritional benefits. This nutrition preamble was offered just before doing a payment card willingness-to-pay experiment. Standard demographic data were also included. The goal of the study was to see if and in what way the provision (or nonprovision) of this information, as well as consumers’ own knowledge of nutritional benefits of local foods, their beliefs and lifestyle influenced their willingness to pay for these local products.