Consumer Preferences for Sustainable Product Attributes and Farm Program Features


Previous literature primarily focused on consumers’ preference for specific sustainable attributes, such as a product being organic, eco-friendly, locally grown, and fair trade. Little is known about consumers’ preference for sustainable program features. We conduct two online choice experiments with U.S. consumers and find that consumers consistently care about farmers’ engagements in sustainable programs, and they are willing to pay a price premium for products from such programs. Consumers also value promoting science in sustainability, establishing concrete measurements of sustainability, and communicating sustainable practices with consumers and downstream industries. We apply the latent class logit model to investigate the potential segmentation of consumers. Three consumer segments are identified based on participants’ heterogeneity in preferences. Our research provides useful information for designing new sustainability programs.