Consumer preferences for mandarins in the UK market: A Vickrey auction approach

  • L. Martínez-Carrasco U. Miguel Hernández
  • F. Vidal
  • N. Poole


The objective of this work is to analyse British consumer preferences towards five varieties of mandarins (two of them from Spain) under three different information conditions: visual inspection, peeling and consumption. Therefore, the paper deals with the purchase process from two perspectives: before and after experiencing the product and considering both search and experience attributes. Besides, it is intended to study the market possibilities of the Spanish varieties in British market. The research employed the second price Vickrey experimental auction method using two treatments applied to different subgroups of the total sample. Half of the groups evaluated the fruit characteristics at each stage of the experimental process before making the auction bids while the other half of the groups offered bids without giving an evaluation of the fruit. Main results are: (1) significant changes in evaluation and willingness to pay for mandarins as consumer move forward the purchase-consumption process, (2) both experimental groups behaved similarly, (3) juiciness, sweetness and acidity are the attributes most closely correlated with the overall evaluation of the different varieties, (4) Spanish varieties are well evaluated, but only after consumption. The main recommendation for Spanish citrus producer is to find a way to communicate Spanish mandarin excellence in some search attributes, which cannot be evaluated by visual inspection, but are significant at post-purchase valuation.