Investigating individual preferences in rating and ranking conjoint experiments. A case study on semi-hard cheese
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionFood Quality and Preference. 2015, 39 28-39. 10.1016/j.foodqual.2014.06.011
Stated preference conjoint experiments and self-explicated measures based on rating and ranking approaches were conducted to investigate Norwegian consumers’ choices among healthier and organically produced semi-hard cheeses. In the conjoint experiments, one group of participants (n = 114) performed a rating task of eight cheeses whereas the other group (n = 105) performed a ranking task of the same cheeses, all based on pictorial stimuli only. Then, all participants performed self-explicated rating and ranking evaluations of the cheese attributes. Conjoint rating data were analysed by mixed model ANOVA, while conjoint ranking data were analysed by mixed logit. The different approaches are compared in terms of data analysis methodologies, outcomes and practicalities for the experimenter as well as for the respondents. Rather than average population effects, focus is brought on individual preferences and consumer segmentation. Findings reveal that the two conjoint experiments lead to similar population effects and consumer segments. Consumers on average prefer cheeses of new (healthier) fat composition, organic production and lower price to cheeses of regular fat composition, conventional production and higher price. Two consumer segments are investigated. Consumers in the New fat segment are health-conscious, whereas consumers in the Regular fat segment are attracted by conventional cheese and lower prices. Self-explicated ratings of the cheese attributes corroborate these findings.