Consumer Demand and Willingness to Purchase Asian Fruits and Vegetables in Selected Korean Communities in Alabama and Georgia

Dalal Alkordi, Youssouf Diabate, Robert Zabawa


This research analyzed the demand for fresh Asian fruits and vegetables by Korean immigrants in central and east Alabama and west Georgia. The growth of the Korean population in these two areas is due to the opening of two automobile manufacturing plants: Kia in West Point, Georgia in 2009 and Hyundai in Montgomery, Alabama in 2005.The study’s objectives were to: 1) establish what demand exists for fresh Asian fruits and vegetables among Korean immigrants in central and east Alabama and west Georgia; and 2) examine the opportunity for a niche market in ethnic vegetables for small and medium-sized farmers. This was accomplished by collecting socio-economic data on Korean residents in central and east Alabama and west Georgia; estimating consumer buying patterns of Asian fruits and vegetables; and developing a list of Asian fruits and vegetables for potential local farm production as a niche market.A survey instrument was developed and used to collect data on consumer preferences, socio-economic factors, willingness to pay, and buying patterns. The instrument was translated into Korean to be more attractive to the respondents, and images of selected fruits and vegetables were attached. The survey was administered at Korean churches in Lee and Montgomery counties in Alabama, and Muscogee and Troup counties in Georgia. The results demonstrated that 81% of respondents were willing to buy Asian/Korean fruits and vegetables grown locally, and that 82% of the participants were willing to pay (5 or > 20%) more for the produce   grown by local farmers. A list of preferred fruits and vegetables by the customers was also established.

Keywords: Asian fruits and vegetables, Korean community, locally grown produce.

DOI: 10.7176/JESD/10-22-13

Publication date: November 30th 2019

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