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Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1169; doi:10.3390/su8111169

Marketing Green Fertilizers: Insights into Consumer Preferences

1
Institute for International Research on Sustainable Management and Renewable Energy (ISR), Nuertingen-Geislingen University, Neckarsteige 6-10, 72622 Nuertingen, Germany
2
Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Rostock, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 6, 18059 Rostock, Germany
3
Department of Applied Marketing Science, TNS Deutschland GmbH, Landsberger Str. 284, 80687 Munich, Germany
4
DBFZ Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum Gemeinn├╝tzige GmbH, Torgauer Str. 116, 04347 Leipzig, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Richard Henry Moore
Received: 21 July 2016 / Revised: 1 November 2016 / Accepted: 9 November 2016 / Published: 11 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [237 KB, uploaded 11 November 2016]

Abstract

In an effort to support the long-term viability of the bioenergy industry through an end market for digestate, we investigated purchasing preferences for fertilizer product features in the home gardening market. We conducted a discrete choice experiment (DCE), presenting 504 respondents with a total of 6048 product attribute choices in a simulated context that replicated the tradeoff decisions made in the real marketplace. We analyzed the choice data using a hierarchical Bayes estimate to generate part-worth utilities for fertilizer product attributes. We then conducted a latent class analysis to identify market segments that could be expected to respond to differentiated product design strategies. We were able to quantify both purchasing preferences for fertilizer product attributes as well as the importance of each attribute to the perceived utility of a product. We were further able to identify five distinct market segments that make clear the potential for differentiated strategies in the home gardening market. We found both negative and positive price sensitivities, with sociodemographically distinct subgroups that favored low-, mid-, and high-priced products. We also found purchasing preferences for brand status, product labeling and nutrient values. Our results provide insights that should help product managers in the biogas industry develop marketing strategies to integrate digestate into a sustainable energy production system. View Full-Text
Keywords: green fertilizer marketing; biogas digestate; private gardeners; discrete choice experiment green fertilizer marketing; biogas digestate; private gardeners; discrete choice experiment
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Dahlin, J.; Halbherr, V.; Kurz, P.; Nelles, M.; Herbes, C. Marketing Green Fertilizers: Insights into Consumer Preferences. Sustainability 2016, 8, 1169.

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