An Assessment of Consumer Preference for Fair Trade Coffee in Toronto and Vancouver

Author: 
John Cranfield, Spencer Henson, James Northey and Oliver Masakure
Publication Date: 
2010
Summary: 
Regardless of location, consumers place a strong premium on price and labeling claims. Three consumer segments are identified in each city; in Toronto, these segments are labeled Fair Trade-Focused, Price Conscious, and Balanced Buyers; for Vancouver these segments are labeled Organic and Fair Trade-Focused, Price Conscious, and Balanced Buyers.
Abstract: 
In this article, the authors use conjoint analysis to elicit the views of coffee consumers on the attributes of Fair Trade coffee using data from the Greater Toronto Area and Vancouver collected through face-to-face interviews with consumers. The impact of socioeconomic and demographic factors on respondents’ acceptance of Fair Trade coffee is evaluated using cluster analysis and multinomial logit models. The results suggest that, regardless of location, consumers place a strong premium on price and labeling claims. Three consumer segments are identified in each city; in Toronto, these segments are labeled Fair Trade-Focused, Price Conscious, and Balanced Buyers; for Vancouver these segments are labeled Organic and Fair Trade-Focused, Price Conscious, and Balanced Buyers. Although a broad spectrum of variables influences segment membership, no single variable explains membership in the same segment in each city. Such a result is rather telling; it suggests deeper constructs underlie segment membership, and presumably consumption behavior with respect to Fair Trade coffee.