Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Consumer preferences for container gardens

A recent article published by Dr. Terri Starman (TAMU) et al. in the April 2008 issue of HortScience is entitled Consumer Preferences for Price, Color Harmony, and Care Information of Container Gardens. The abstract of the article's findings is below.

Retail sales of container gardens have increased dramatically in recent years, rising 8% from 2004 to 2005, to $1.3 billion. The objective of this study was to determine consumer preferences for three attributes of container gardens; color harmony, price, and amount of care information provided with the purchase. A hierarchical set of levels for each attribute was used in a 3 x 3 x 3 factorial conjoint analysis.

A Web-based survey was conducted on 18 Oct. 2006 with 985 respondents. Survey participants were asked to complete a series of questions on a 7-point Likert scale. Survey participants also answered questions about past experiences with and future purchase intentions of container gardens as well as demographics. The three attributes accounted for 99.8% of the variance in container garden preference. Relative importance decreased from price (71%) to amount of care information (23%) to color harmony (6%).

Survey participants preferred a container garden with a price point of $24.99, extensive care information, and complementary color harmony. A large portion (76%) of participants in this study indicated that they would be more likely to purchase a container garden if extensive care information was included with the purchase and 85% of participants said they would be willing to visit an Internet Web site that would provide more information on how to care for and maintain a container garden.

Results of this study show that there is a potential to increase the value of a container garden through providing educational material with the purchase.

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