Group Title: Bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Title: The effect of price variation, skin blemish, and firmness on retail sales of Florida avocados
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 Material Information
Title: The effect of price variation, skin blemish, and firmness on retail sales of Florida avocados
Series Title: Bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Physical Description: 38 p. : ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Williams, F. W ( Floyd Wendell ), 1931-
Brooke, Donald Lloyd, 1915-
Riggan, W. B ( Wilson Butler ), 1914-
Publisher: University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1962
Copyright Date: 1962
 Subjects
Subject: Avocado -- Quality   ( lcsh )
Avocado -- Prices   ( lcsh )
Avocado -- Marketing   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
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Statement of Responsibility: F.W. Williams, D.L. Brooke, W.B. Riggan.
General Note: Cover title.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00026842
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltuf - AEN9791
oclc - 18352766
alephbibnum - 000929027

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not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
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record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
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site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida








THE EFFECT OF PRICE VARIATION,

SKIN BLEMISH, AND FIRMNESS

ON RETAIL SALES OF FLORIDA

AVOCADOS


F. W. WILLIAMS, D. L. BROOKE
W. B. RIGGAN











UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 0 AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATIONS 0 GAINESVILLE
Bulletin 645 J. R. BECKENBACH, Director March 1962























ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
DR. D. L. BROOKE is an associate agricultural economist with the Florida
Agricultural Experiment Stations and W. B. RIGGAN is an assistant agricul-
tural economist with the FAES. DR. F. W. WILLIAMS is a former FAES
research assistant, now an agricultural economist with the U.S. Depart-
ment of Agriculture, Griffin, Georgia.















TABLE OF CONTENTS
page

SUM MARY .. ..................... -......-...- ..- .... ..... .............. .. 4

INTRODUCTION ........................ ..............-............ .............. 5

PURPOSE OF STUDY ...............-............................. .... .............. 6

RESEARCH PROCEDURE ..-............. .. ......-------.. --------- -- -- -...... --.... 6
Description of Fruit Used ..---..---. .......-... ---..... ----- .....- ----------- 7
Test Factors ...---.........--...... ..--- ..---------------------- -------.....--- 8
Skin Blem ish ........ -----....... .......... ..... ... .-------. 8
Prices ..........-............- ...-........-....------------------ -.---. ..-..---- 9
Degree of Firmness of Fruit ...----...----..--..-...----..-..---- ..-----------.... ---10
Other Controls Imposed ............-..-.............. ..... ------ -------...-.... 10
Display Location ........-----------..........-----------.... ...... ---. 10
Comparability of Displays ......--....... .................-----..... -- 11
Absence of Sales Promotion ..... ..-..------------.....- ...-- ... .. ----------- 11
Analysis of Data ..-................... ............... ------------------- ... -- 11

THE FINDINGS ...--------................------....-......---- .----. 12
Preferences for Clear Versus Blemished Fruit .-.............--..--.......-.. 12
Clear Versus Blemished Fruit Offered at Identical Prices ..-...--.....--. 13
Blemished Fruit Offered at Differential Prices .............-........----- ..-- .... 18
Clear Versus Blemished Fruit Offered at Identical and
Differential Prices -.......... -----------..... .......- ..20
The Effect of Degree of Firmness on Sales Volume ..........................--. 23
The Relationship of Firmness to Prices and Blemish .................--... 27
Data Adjustment -.......................---- ....--...-------- -- .. .-........---- 27
The Effect of Display Positions on Sales ...............-....-............... 29
The Effect of W eeks on Sales .............------............ ------ .......-- ... 30
Avocado Sales and Volume of Store Business .....--.....-....-..............-... 31

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ...-..-..........-- ..... ....------ --... -------- --- ------....--..- ...-- 33

APPENDIX ..--.............-----...... ..-..----......--. --.-.. --. ---.-- ..----......... 34










SUMMARY
The purpose of this publication is to provide the Florida
avocado industry with information which indicates (a) consumer
response to price variation as reflected in the sales volume of
avocados placed on retail display, (b) consumer preference for av-
ocados having varying amounts of skin scab and scar when fruit
is available at a range of prices, and (c) consumer preference
for avocados having varying degrees of firmness.
Data for this study were obtained in a 4-week controlled re-
tail store test in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in October and No-
vember, 1959. Displays of Florida avocados were placed in 4
modern supermarkets under controlled conditions specified by a
latin square experimental design. Two of the stores were located
in high-income residential areas and 2 were located in areas of
medium income. Three separate but adjacent displays of avo-
cados were maintained in all stores throughout the test period.
Prices of 17, 21, 25 and 29 cents per fruit were assigned to
these displays which contained avocados approximating U. S.
No. 1 and U. S. No. 2 grades. Each display also contained fruit
which varied in its degree of firmness from hard to Eoft.
A record of the number of avocados sold under each of these
conditions provided a measure of consumers' preferences between
clear and blemished fruit, firm, breaking, and soft fruit, and the
price consumers were willing to pay to obtain avocados exhibiting
the preferred characteristics.
Analysis of variance techniques were utilized in the statisti-
cal analysis of sales data. It was found that the income of store
clientele, price, degree of blemish, and degree of firmness of avo-
cados had highly significant effects on the volume of avocados
sold.
The high-income clientele purchased almost twice as many
avocados as the medium-income clientele. Customers preferred
clear fruit almost 2 to 1 over blemished at the same price. At
a 4-cent differential in favor of blemished, they bought an equal
volume of both. At an 8-cent differential, the ratio of blemished
to clear sales was 1.4 to 1 and with a 12-cent differential, 1.8 to 1.
Evidence indicated that customers preferred fruit for consump-
tion within 1 to 2 days rather than fruit which had to be stored
longer until it became soft.










THE EFFECT OF PRICE VARIATION, SKIN BLEMISH
AND FIRMNESS ON RETAIL SALES OF
FLORIDA AVOCADOS1

F. W. WILLIAMS, D. L. BROOKE, W. B. RIGGAN

INTRODUCTION
The producers of avocados in Florida have become increas-
ingly aware in recent years of the importance of developing a
better organized and more efficient market for their product.
The number of acres devoted to avocado production increased
and the volume of the crop more than doubled from 1950 to 1959.
It continually became more difficult for growers to market profit-
ably this increasing volume of fruit. Despite an increase in
total market demand, there was a comparable increase in the
volume of fruit marketed by those areas with which Florida
competes-California and Cuba.
In an effort to improve their competitive position, avocado
growers organized the Florida Avocado Administrative Commit-
tee in 1954. The committee was charged with administering the
Avocado Marketing Agreement which growers initiated under
the auspices of the United States Department of Agriculture in
the same year.2 When the Marketing Agreement program be-
came effective with the 1954-55 season, the industry had, for
the first time, authority for establishing and regulating minimum
standards for its product. Since 1954, grade, size, container and
maturity regulations have been enforced on all interstate ship-
ments of Florida avocados.
In administering the Marketing Agreement program, in-
dustry members have felt an acute need for additional informa-
tion concerning the criteria used by consumers in selecting avo-
cados in the retail market. They lacked answers to such ques-
tions as: What size, shape and color of fruit does the consumer
prefer? How conscious is the consumer of quality considera-
tions, skin appearance and other variations in fruit character-

1 This publication is adapted from a dissertation entitled "An Evalua-
tion of Consumer Preference and the Effects of Price Variations and Se-
lected Fruit Characteristics on Retail Sales of Florida Avocados" presented
by Floyd Wendell Williams in partial fulfillment of the requirements for
the Doctor of Philosophy degree at the University of Florida in January,
1961.
SUn i t e d S t a t e s D e p a r t m e n t o f A g r i c u l t u r e A v o c a d o M a r k e t i n g O r d e r
No. 69, 1954.








6 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

istics? If consumers are conscious of fruit variations, what
price differentials are they willing to pay to obtain the preferred
fruit?
Two recent studies conducted by the Florida Agricultural
Experiment Stations have assisted the industry in obtaining
answers to these vital questions.3 This publication is the third
in the current series of avocado marketing studies.

PURPOSE OF STUDY
The purpose of this project was to provide the Florida avo-
cado industry with information which would indicate (a) con-
sumer response to price variation as reflected in the sales volume
of avocados placed on retail display, (b) consumer preference
for avocados having varying amounts of skin scab and scar
when fruit was available at a range of prices and (c) consumer
preference for avocados having varying degrees of firmness.
Brooke, in the work referred to above, attempted to measure
consumer preference for avocados having varying amounts of
skin scab and scar when all fruit was offered at the same price.
The present study emphasizes the pecuniary values attached to
the preference exhibited by consumers.
When offering a product on the market, it is of paramount
importance to know as much as possible concerning the type of
product preferred by potential customers in a given market at
a given time. This information becomes more valuable when it
can be reliably said that customers prefer unblemished fruit
and are willing to pay X cents more for unblemished fruit than
for fruit exhibiting a given amount of surface blemish, other
things holding constant. It was the objective of this study to
provide the industry with such pecuniary measures of consumer
preference for discernible characteristics of Florida avocados.

RESEARCH PROCEDURE
Empirical data for this project were obtained in a 6-week
controlled retail store test in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Oc-
tober and November, 1959. Four modern supermarkets operated
by 1 large chain in the Philadelphia metropolitan area were se-
lected as the test stores.
3 Donald L. Brooke, External Quality Factors of Florida Avocados-Their
Importance to the Consumer (Gainesville, Florida: Florida Agricultural Ex-
periment Stations Bulletin 617, 1959); William T. Manley and Marshall R.
Godwin, The Consumer Market for Florida Avocados (Gainesville, Florida:
Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations Bulletin 625, 1960).







Price Variation on Retail Sales of Florida Avocados 7

Two of these stores were located in high-income residential
areas. Two stores were located in areas considered to be medium
income. A previous avocado study conducted in Philadelphia
indicated that location of test stores in areas containing pre-
dominantly low-income residents was not desirable. Purchases
of avocados by people of low incomes were found to be so few
that the quantity of data generated in low-income areas likely
did not justify the additional cost.4 The selection of stores in
the high- and medium-income areas was facilitated by past ex-
perience in the area and also by the advice of executives of the
grocery chain.
Philadelphia was chosen as the test area for a number
of reasons. First, the metropolitan areas of the northeastern
United States provide an important market for Florida avocados.
No inference is intended that Philadelphia is a "typical" market
representative of this area; however, it was not considered atypi-
cal. Second, previous research in this city provided personal con-
tacts with personnel of the cooperating chain and a reliable avo-
cado distributor. This was an important consideration since
the success of this type of study depended so heavily upon the
whole-hearted support of cooperating stores. Success also de-
pended heavily upon a local distributor of avocados who could
provide receiving and storage facilities for the test fruit.
The third criterion in selecting the test area was the desire
to promote comparability between the results of this study and
those of the previous study. The same chain and stores were
used for both, except stores in low-income areas included in
the earlier work were omitted in this study.

DESCRIPTION OF FRUIT USED
All of the fruit used in the store test was of the Lula variety.
This variety comprised about 44 percent of all avocados shipped
from Florida in the 1958-59 season. More than 20 varieties
made up the remaining 56 percent of fruit shipped.5 The rela-
tive importance of the Lula variety seemed to justify its use in
the store test.
Lula avocados are normally pear-shaped in contrast to some
varieties which are round. Fruit used in the test were size 14.
Normal grading of the avocados at the shipping point allowed
SBrooke, op. cit., p. 14.
"Annual Report, Avocado Administrative Committee, 1958-59 Season
(Homestead, Florida: Avocado Administrative Committee, 1959), p. 7.







8 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

small variations in both size and shape of the fruit displayed.
However, enumerators withheld from the display and discarded
any fruit that was obviously not comparable to the rest of the
fruit in size and shape.

TEST FACTORS
The factors evaluated included blemish, price and degree of
firmness of fruit.
Skin blemish.-Skin blemish, or blemish, refers to the amount
of scab or scar tissue apparent on the exterior surface of the
fruit. Two degrees of skin blemish were used: 0- to 5-percent,
which is referred to as clear fruit, 15- to 25-percent, which is
referred to as blemished fruit.
One of the purposes of this study was to determine the pe-
cuniary values associated with the preference exhibited by con-
sumers for blemished fruit versus clear fruit. Representatives
of the Federal-State Inspection Service accepted the responsi-
bility for special grading of all avocados used in the store test.
The fruit was graded and labeled at the shipping point as con-
taining either 0- to 5-percent or 15- to 25-percent scab and scar
on the skin surface. These respective percentages of blemish
were chosen so that the difference in appearance of the fruit
would be obvious to customers encountering them in adjacent
displays. Yet, the 15- to 25-percent-blemished fruit did not pre-
sent an appearance which was too objectionable to store person-
nel who ;ere, of course, interested in maintaining an attractive
display of produce.
Brooke included in his study fruit which was 40- to 50-per-
cent blemished in addition to 0- to 5-percent and 15- to 25-per-
cent-blemished fruit. He found that a relatively small volume
of badly blemished fruit was taken when customers could select
cleaner fruit at the same price.6 Hence, 40- to 50-percent-blem-
ished fruit was not included in this study.
Two displays of 15- to 25-percent-blemished fruit were main-
tained, identical except for price, in addition to 1 display of clear
fruit. Customers always had a choice between 15- to 25-percent-
blemished fruit at 17 cents and blemished or clear fruit priced
at 17, 21, 25 or 29 cents. This combination of blemish and prices
was designed to determine shoppers' consciousness of fruit blem-
ishes and also the price differential they were willing to pay,

"6 Brooke, op. cit., pp. 6-10.








Price Variation on Retail Sales of Florida Avocados 9

within the price ranges provided, to obtain fruit which they con-
sidered most desirable.
Prices.-Prices were selected and controlled so that the mon-
etary values attached to consumers' preferences among the other
test factors could be determined. The range of possible deter-
mination was limited, of course, to the range over which prices
were allowed to vary. Prices of the avocados displayed in the
stores were 17, 21, 25 and 29 cents each. These prices were be-
lieved to cover those at which avocados were most likely to be
offered during any season on the Philadelphia retail market.
The price arrangement was such that blemished fruit was
offered in 1 display in all stores throughout the test at 17 cents.
An adjacent display contained blemished fruit priced at 17, 21,
25 or 29 cents. Also, an adjacent display of clear fruit was con-
tained in all stores throughout the test. Clear fruit was priced
identical to the blemished fruit on which the price varied be-
tween 17 and 29 cents.
The pricing period was 1 week in all cases. That is, a price
combination appearing in a store on Monday morning remained
unchanged through Saturday. The price was marked on each
fruit with a standard store label. Each display was labeled only
with the words "Fresh Avocados" on a placard centered above
the display.
The price combinations, as shown in Table 1, were assigned
to the test stores each week. Price combinations 1, 2 and 3 were
randomly assigned to 3 stores. The fourth price combination
then was assigned to the last of the 4 stores. The only restric-
tion placed upon the random assignments was that the same price

TABLE 1.-AVOCADO PRICE COMBINATIONS, PRICE PER FRUIT, 4 STORES,
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, OCTOBER 22-NOVEMBER 18, 1959.

Price Price
Combination
Number Degree of Blemish
_0-5% | 15-25% 1 15-25%
Cents
1 17 17 17
2 21 21 17
3 25 25 17
4 29 29 17








10 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

combination could not appear in the same store in 2 consecutive
weeks. One price combination appeared in each of the test stores
each week. All prices appeared in each store once during the
study.
Degree of firmness of fruit.-The degree of firmness of fruit
is discussed in terms of how firm or soft the avocados felt to the
touch when gently pressed between the palms of the hands. The
firmness of avocados appearing in retail displays is largely de-
pendent upon how long they remain unrefrigerated after being
harvested, assuming all fruit to have been equally mature when
harvested. Avocados are normally under constant refrigeration
from the shipping point until they are removed from the refrig-
erators of the retail stores and placed on display. The fruit is
generally not placed in refrigerated display cases but is displayed
at normal room temperatures.
When fruit remains unrefrigerated for about 24 to 36 hours,
it begins to "break" or feel less firm than if kept under constant
refrigeration. Without refrigeration the fruit continues to
soften slowly until it is normally considered edible by about the
fourth day. It becomes "mushy" or inedible, by most standards,
between the sixth and eighth day. The Lula avocados used in
the test had an average display shelf-life of 6 to 7 days. The
test fruit was shipped to Philadelphia in refrigerated trucks and
kept under refrigeration until it was displayed in the stores.
Firmness was measured by the number of 24-hour periods
the fruit had been without refrigeration. Once the avocados
were removed from the stores' refrigerators they were never re-
turned. Displayed fruit, marked with date of first display, al-
ways remained in unrefrigerated display cases overnight and
throughout the weekend when the stores were closed. This
allowed continuity in the softening process so that firmness of
fruit could always be measured by days, or the number of con-
secutive 24-hour periods it had been unrefrigerated.
Fruit was replaced in the displays as sales volume required.
The volume of fruit sold made it necessary to replenish the dis-
plays each day, almost without exception. This provided fruit
of several degrees of firmness on display at all times.

OTHER CONTROLS IMPOSED
Display location.-Before the store test began, arrangements
were made with store- and produce-department managers for
display locations in the produce departments of the stores. The








Price Variation on Retail Sales of Florida Avocados 11

display areas selected were considered normally accessible to
customers but were not conspicuous. Displays remained in the
same location throughout the study period.
Comparability of displays.-The enumerators attempted
throughout the study to maintain all displays as comparable as
possible, allowing variability only in those factors which were
being tested. The quantity of fruit displayed at each price and
degree of blemish was held as nearly equal as feasible to assure
that shoppers always had choices of fruit which included all
test factors.
In order to maintain comparable displays it was occasionally
necessary to discard avocados which had become damaged
through customer handling. Fruit was also discarded when it
had become discolored or too soft to present a desirable appear-
ance. Because of individual fruit variations, enumerators neces-
sarily made arbitrary decisions relative to when fruit should
be discarded. However, to promote maximum display compara-
bility, they attempted to be as consistent as possible in deciding
when fruit should be discarded.
Absence of sales promotion.-No attempts were made to pro-
mote the sale of avocados in the test stores. Executives of the
cooperating chain agreed before the study began that there
would be no newspaper advertising or other sales promotion of
avocados in any of their stores during the test. No placards or
other devices to attract shoppers' attention to avocados were
allowed. These measures were designed to provide customers
free choice of the displayed fruit without extraneous influences.

ANALYSIS OF DATA
The experimental design devised for collecting the avocado
sales data was a replicated 4 x 4 latin square containing 4 stores
and 4 weeks. The factors studied-blemish, price and degree of
firmness-were systematically assigned to stores and weeks in
such a way that every combination of factors appeared once and
only once in each store during 1 week of the store test.
The sales data collected under this design were analyzed using
orthogonal comparison and analysis of variance statistical tech-
niques. In the interest of brevity and simplicity, references to
statistical analyses have been omitted from the tabular presenta-
tion of findings which follow. Statistical tests of significance
of these results may be referenced in the analysis of variance in
Appendix Tables 2 through 5.








12 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

THE FINDINGS
PREFERENCES FOR CLEAR VERSUS BLEMISHED FRUIT
The over-all sales of blemished versus clear avocados are con-
sidered first, temporarily disregarding price differentials. Com-
bining the data for the 4 stores, about 38 percent of total sales
were of clear fruit while about 62 percent were of blemished
(Table 2). This result might readily be expected since 1 dis-
play of blemished fruit was always priced at 17 cents. Table 2
is of interest in pointing out the differences in customer reaction
to blemished fruit between the 2 income areas. Within income
areas there was no appreciable difference in the behavior of cus-
tomers regarding their choice of blemished and clear avocados.
But there was a marked difference between the 2 income groups.
The clientele with a higher income bought 27 percent more blem-
ished than clear fruit while medium-income customers bought
only 16 percent more blemished than clear avocados.

TABLE 2.-TOTAL NUMBER AND PERCENTAGE OF AVOCADOS SOLD IN DIFFER-
ENT STORES, BY DEGREE OF BLEMISH AND INCOME AREA, 4 STORES, PHILA-
DELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, OCTOBER 22-NOVEMBER 18, 1959.

Number Percent
Store I
Number Degree of Blemish I Degree of Blemish
1 0-5% 1 15-25% [ Total I 0-5% 15-25% 1 Total
Medium-Income Area

1 223 306 529 42.16 57.84 100.00
2 227 318 545 41.65 58.35 100.00

Total or Average 450 624 1074 41.90 58.10 100.00

High-Income Area

3 383 691 1074 35.66 64.34 100.00
4 344 578 922 37.31 62.69 100.00

Total or Average 727 1269 1996 36.42 63.58 100.00

Grand Total
or Average 1177 1893 3070 38.34 61.66 100.00

This is not surprising since persons of high income buy larger
volumes of avocados. Lower-income clientele appeared to be less
familiar with quality factors and likely believed that blemish








Price Variation on Retail Sales of Florida Avocados 13

was associated with poorer quality since they preferred cleaner
fruit at all prices.

CLEAR VERSUS BLEMISHED FRUIT OFFERED AT
IDENTICAL PRICES
Disregarding for the moment the display of blemished fruit
which was offered always at 17 cents per fruit, a comparison is
made between the sales of clear and blemished fruit which was
offered at identical prices varying between 17 and 29 cents. This
comparison appears in Table 3 (columns 7 and 8). These 2 ad-
jacent displays were identical in every respect except that 1 con-
tained 0-to 5-percent blemished fruit and the other 15-to 25-
percent. Thirty-eight percent of the total sales were of clear
fruit and 22 percent of blemished fruit. There was little differ-
ence in the percentage ratio of clear and blemished sold between
stores of the same income area. The percentage of blemished
fruit sold was practically identical in the 2 income areas. But
over 5 percent more clear fruit was sold in the medium-income
area than was sold in the high-income area (Table 4). This again
indicates that medium-income clientele were more conscious of
skin blemish than high-income customers and had a preference
for clear fruit at all the prices tested.
As the price increased from 17 to 29 cents, the sales of clear
fruit decreased more rapidly than did the sales of blemished
(columns 1 and 2, Table 5). With a price increase of 12 cents,
total sales of clear fruit decreased an average of about 57 percent
while blemished decreased about 52 percent. With the same
difference in price, medium-income customers reduced their pur-
chases of clear fruit 57 percent, while in the high-income area
clear purchases dropped 56 percent.
Comparing sales of clear fruit at varying prices with blem-
ished fruit at 17 cents (columns 1 and 3, Table 5), as price in-
creased from 17 to 29 cents medium-income consumers decreased
purchases 57 percent. At the same time purchases from the
constant-priced display increased 103 percent. In the high-
income area purchases of clear fruit decreased 56 percent while
sales of constant-priced fruit increased 25 percent. This indi-
cates that either medium-income consumers were more con-
scious of price changes than high-income consumers or that
there was increasing resistance to a price increase and that at
some given price many consumers will buy lower quality rather
than accept a further price increase. Perhaps, on the basis of









TABLE 3.-TOTAL NUMBER AND PERCENTAGE OF AVOCADOS SOLD IN DIFFERENT STORES AT SELECTED PRICES, BY DEGREE OF
BLEMISH AND INCOME AREA, 4 STORES, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, OCTOBER 22-NOVEMBER 18, 1959.

Number Percent

Store Number Price Degree of Blemish Degree of Blemish
(Cents)
0-5% 15-25%* 15-25%** Total 0-5% 15-25%* 15-25%** Total o


(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10)

Medium-Income Area

1 ........... ......- .... .. 17 73 50 34 157 46.50 31.85 21.65 100.00
21 62 23 53 138 44.93 16.67 38.40 100.00
25 51 36 42 129 39.53 27.91 32.56 100.00
29 37 21 47 105 35.24 20.00 44.76 100.00

Store Total or Average.. 223 130 176 529 42.16 24.57 33.27 100.00 3.

2 .......... ............... 17 81 26 28 135 60.00 19.26 20.74 100.00
21 61 28 43 132 46.21 21.21 32.58 100.00
25 56 27 68 151 37.09 17.88 45.03 100.00
29 29 19 79 127 22.83 14.96 62.21 100.00

Store Total or Average.. 227 100 218 545 41.65 18.35 40.00 100.00

Income-Area Total I
or Average ............... 450 230 394 1074 41.90 21.42 36.68 100.00
______________________________________I____








TABLE 3 (continued)


High-Income Area

3 ... ................... 17 162 74 97 333 48.65 22.22 29.13 100.00
21 78 55 134 267 29.21 20.60 50.19 100.00
25 78 51 119 248 31.45 20.57 47.98 100.00
29 65 35 126 226 28.76 15.49 55.75 100.00

Store Total or Average-. 383 215 476 1074 35.66 20.02 44.32 100.00


4 ---......---......-- ..- 17 113 84 77 274 41.24 30.66 28.10 100.00 ^
21 107 51 76 234 45.73 21.79 32.48 100.00
25 69 51 110 230 30.00 22.17 47.83 100.00
29 55 37 92 184 29.89 20.11 50.00 100.00


Store Total or Average.. 344 223 355 922 37.31 24.19 38.50 100.00


Income-Area Total
or Average ................. 727 438 831 1996 36.42 21.95 41.63 100.00


Grand Total or Average.. 1177 668 1225 3070 38.34 21.76 39.90 100.00

Always priced identical to the adjacent display of 0-5% blemished fruit. 0
** Always priced at 17 cents.



0









TABLE 4.-TOTAL NUMBER AND PERCENTAGE OF AVOCADOS SOLD AT SELECTED PRICES ACCORDING TO DEGREE OF BLEMISH, BY
INCOME AREA, 4 STORES, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, OCTOBER 22-NOVEMBER 18, 1959.


Number Percent

Price Degree of Blemish Degree of Blemish
(Cents) 5
0-5% 15-25%* 15-25%** Total 0-5% 15-25%* 15-25%** Total


Medium-Income Area


17 .......... ........... 154 76 62 292 52.74 26.03 21.23 100.00
21 -- ............................... .. 123 51 96 270 45.56 18.89 35.55 100.00
25 .......-------.. .... .... ................. 107 63 110 280 38.21 22.50 39.29 100.00
29 --- ------ ------.................... 66 40 126 232 28.45 17.24 54.31 100.00

Total or Average -------.......... 450 230 394 1074 41.90 21.42 36.68 100.00


High-Income Area


17 ........-........... ............... .... 275 158 174 607 45.30 26.03 28.67 100.00
21 ................................ .. 185 106 210 501 36.93 21.16 41.91 100.00
25 ........................................ 147 102 229 478 30.75 21.34 47.91 100.00
29 ......-- -............ ......... 120 72 218 410 29.27 17.56 53.17 100.00


Total or Average .......................... 727 438 831 1996 36.42 21.95 41.63 100.00










TABLE 4 (continued)


Combined Areas


17 ......................-.......... ....... 429 234 236 899 47.72 26.03 26.25 100.00
21 ............................... ..... .... 308 157 306 771 39.95 20.36 39.69 100.00
25 ...................... ............. 254 165 339 758 33.51 21.77 44.72 100.00
29 ................ ............... ........ 186 112 344 642 28.97 17.45 53.58 100.00
So

Total or Average ..............-..----. 1177 668 1225 3070 38.34 21.76 39.90 100.00


Always priced identical to the adjacent display of 0-5% blemished fruit.
** Always priced at 17 cents.









-q
S







Co


~~









18 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

these data, it is also true that faced with increasing prices some
consumers will refrain from buying rather than accept lower
quality.

TABLE 5.-PERCENTAGE CHANGE IN NUMBER OF AVOCADOS SOLD WITH VARI-
OUS CHANGES IN PRICE, BY DEGREE OF BLEMISH AND INCOME AREA, 4
STORES, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, OCTOBER 22-NOVEMBER 18, 1959.*

1 Degree of Blemish
Price Change
(Cents) 0-5% 15-25%** 15-25%t

Medium-Income Area

17 to 21 .............................. -20.13 -32.89 +54.84
21 to 25 ............................. -13.01 +23.53 +14.58
25 to 29 ............................... -38.32 -36.51 +14.55
17 to 25 ............................. -30.52 -17.11 +77.42
21 to 29 ................................ -46.34 -21.57 +31.25
17 to 29 .............................. -57.14 -47.37 +103.23

High-Income Area

17 to 21 ........ ......... ....... -32.73 -32.91 +20.69
21 to 25 ----..--..--.......-----....... --20.54 3.77 + 9.05
25 to 29 .......................... --18.37 -29.41 4.80
17 to 25 ............................ -46.55 -35.44 +31.61
21 to 29 .............................. --35.14 -32.08 + 3.81
17 to 29 ............................. -56.36 -54.43 +25.29

Combined Areas

17 to 21 .............................. -28.20 -32.91 +29.66
21 to 25 .......................... -17.53 + 5.10 +10.78
25 to 29 ............................. -26.77 -32.12 + 1.47
17 to 25 ........................... -40.79 -29.49 +43.64
21 to 29 ....................... -39.61 -28.66 +12.42
17 to 29 .............................. -56.64 -52.14 +45.76

Computed from Table 4.
** Always priced identical to the adjacent display of 0-5% blemished fruit.
f Always priced at 17 cents.

BLEMISHED FRUIT OFFERED AT DIFFERENTIAL PRICES

A comparison of blemished fruit sales appears in Table 6.
The 2 displays of 15- to 25-percent blemished fruit were identi-
cal except for price. On 1 display price varied from 17 to 29
cents, and on the other it was always 17 cents. Since the ap-








Price Variation on Retail Sales of Florida Avocados 19

pearance of the fruit in the 2 blemished displays was the same,
one might except that no fruit would be sold from 1 display if
its price exceeded that of the other. This was not true, however.
As computed from Table 6, 157 fruit or 8 percent of the blem-
ished fruit sold at 21 cents, 165 fruit or 9 percent at 25 cents
and 112 or 6 percent at 29 cents. A total of 434 or 23 percent
of blemished fruit sales were at prices above 17 cents. This is
especially significant since identical fruit (except, perhaps, for
degree of firmness) could have been selected at the 17-cent price.
This indicated that many shoppers were not observant of price
differences between the blemished displays, although they were
more observant when the differential was 12 cents than when it
was 4 or 8 cents.

TABLE 6.-TOTAL NUMBER AND PERCENTAGE OF BLEMISHED AVOCADOS SOLD
AND REACTION OF SALES TO PRICE CHANGES, 4 STORES, PHILADELPHIA,
PENNSYLVANIA, OCTOBER 22-NOVEMBER 18, 1959.

Variable-Priced Constant 17-Cent
Display Display*
Total
Avocados Sold Avocados Sold
Price g
(Cents) .

S S" S E E
L P P I U PH z PI

17 .............. 234 49.79 236 50.21 470 100.00
--32.91 +29.66
21 .---...... 157 33.91 306 66.09 463 100.00
+ 4.57 +10.78
25 .....-....- 165 32.74 339 67.26 504 100.00
-32.12 + 1.47
29 ............. 112 24.56 344 75.44 456 100.00

Total or
Average 668 -52.14 35.29 1225 +45.76 64.71 1893 100.00

All sales made at 17 cents while price on adjacent display of blemished fruit was as
shown in stub of table.

With few exceptions, sales of fruit from the blemished dis-
play on which price varied declined as price increased. Tables
3 and 4 show that generally, blemished fruit sales decreased con-
siderably when the price was above 17 cents. As would be ex-
pected, sales from the 17-cent blemished display increased as the
price was increased on the other display of blemished fruit.
When the price differential increased from 0 to 12 cents on the








20 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

variable-priced display, sales dropped 52 percent. Price differ-
entials of 12 cents between the 2 blemished fruit displays pro-
duced an increase of 46 percent in 17-cent sales (Table 6). How-
ever, the total amount of blemished fruit sold was not greatly
different for the various price combinations. When both groups
were priced at 17 cents, 470 avocados were sold. As the price
was increased on 1 display with the other display held constant,
the number of avocados sold at various combinations was 463
with a 4-cent differential, 504 at an 8-cent differential and 456
at a 12-cent differential.
It should be noted that price and degree of blemish were not
the only variables which likely affected the volume of sales in
the 2 blemished displays. It was not possible to maintain the
2 displays with fruit of identical degrees of firmness (softness
or ripeness). Enumerators observed that when the price of 1
display was above 17 cents customers tended to purchase from
the 17-cent display, unless the higher-priced fruit was less firm.
Often there was little soft fruit in either display early in the
week and more 17-cent fruit would sell. Yet, later in the week
when the higher-priced display contained relatively more soft
fruit, sales of the more expensive fruit would increase relative
to the 17-cent avocados. Firmness considerations are treated
later, but they cannot be completely discounted from the price
and blemish effects.

CLEAR VERSUS BLEMISHED FRUIT OFFERED AT
IDENTICAL AND DIFFERENTIAL PRICES
Consider now a comparison of the three adjacent avocado
displays-1 with 0- to 5-percent blemish, 2 with 15- to 25-percent
blemish. The 3 were offered at an identical 17-cent price in
addition to 4-, 8- and 12-cent price differentials. The price differ-
ential, when it appeared, was between the 1 display of blemished
fruit priced always at 17 cents and 2 other displays. These 2
displays, on which price was 17, 21, 25 or 29 cents, contained
0- to 5-percent blemished fruit in 1 and 15- to 25-percent in the
other. The effects of these price-blemish combinations are
shown in Tables 3 through 5 and in Fig. 1.
Table 3 shows that there was no outstanding difference in
the behavior of customers between stores of the same income
area. The significant difference was between the 2 income areas.
In both areas customers were quite consistent in reducing their
purchases as the price increased above 17 cents. Nearly one-








Price Variation on Retail Sales of Florida Avocados 21

half the sales were of clear fruit when all displays were priced
identically at 17 cents. But when 2 displays were at 29 cents,
over 50 percent of sales were of 17-cent blemished fruit and
sales of clear decreased to about 29 percent (Table 4). Sales
from the variable-priced-blemished display were consistently less
than from the 17-cent-blemished display. Only in stores 1 and
4, when all fruit was 17 cents, was this not true.



S17 cents

1 21 cents

i* 25 cents
Percent
of Sales 29 cents
60



50-
::_







20.... : "












0-5% 15-25a 15-25%

Degree of Blemish

"Always priced identical to adjacent display of 0- to 5-percent blemished
fruit.
"Always priced at 17 cents.
Figure 1.-Percent of avocados sold at each price and degree of blemish,
4 stores, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 22-November 18, 1959.
4 stores, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 22-November 18, 1959.







22 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

Table 5 shows the relationships between changes in price
and relative sales volumes. A 12-cent price change from 17 to
29 cents produced a decrease in clear sales of about 57 percent
in the medium-income area. The same price change caused 29-
cent-blemished sales to decrease about 47 percent, while sales
of blemish at 17 cents increased 103 percent. An unusually
large number of blemished fruit sold for 25 cents in the medium-
income area. Since more sales at 25 than at 21 cents were not
anticipated, sales and display inventories were re-examined. This
revealed that there was a larger number of breaking and soft
fruit in the 25-cent blemished display than when the price was
21 cents. Hence, the sales of breaking and soft avocados were
considerably larger than at 21 cents. Further, the sales of blem-
ished fruit at 21 cents in the 2 medium-income area stores were
quite low relative to other stores and prices.
It is important to note that the first price change-from 17
to 21 cents-caused greater reductions in sales than any other
4-cent change in the high-income area. In the medium-income
area, the change from 25 to 29 cents caused a greater reduction
in sales than the other 4-cent changes. The change from 17
to 21 cents on the 2 variable-priced displays caused greater in-
creases in 17-cent sales in both income areas (Table 5).
The inverse relationship between price and quantity taken
was as anticipated, with few exceptions. It was also expected
that as the price increased on 2 displays the quantity of 17-cent
fruit taken would increase. The data indicated that high-income
customers were discouraged to a greater extent from buying
fruits as the price increased than were the medium-income cus-
tomers. This was evidenced by smaller reductions in sales in the
medium-income group than in the high-income group as price
was increased from 17 to 29 cents. It appeared further that the
medium-income clientele were more observing of displays and
prices than the high-income group. Even though their purchases
were reduced at higher prices, the reduction was largely offset
by increases in purchases of the 17-cent fruit which was always
available. High-income customers, while reducing their pur-
chases of higher-priced fruit, apparently were not as observant
that 17-cent avocados were offered simultaneously or associated
price with quality and refused to buy 17-cent fruit. In the me-
dium-income area, 230 fruit were sold from the 2 variable-priced
displays when both were priced at 17 cents. When both were
priced at 29 cents (a price increase of 12 cents) sales decreased








Price Variation on Retail Sales of Florida Avocados 23

to 106 fruit, a decrease of 54 percent. Similarly, in the high-
income area 433 fruit were sold from the 2 variable-priced dis-
plays at 17 cents. At 29 cents, 192 were sold-a decrease of 56
percent (Table 4). With this 12-cent price increase, purchases
from the constant 17-cent display increased 103 percent in the
medium-income and only 25 percent in the high-income area
(Table 5).
In the stores located in the high-income area when price was
29 rather than 25 cents, purchases from all 3 displays were re-
duced (Table 5). Sales of 17-cent fruit decreased rather than
increased, as they did in every other instance of price increases
above 17 cents. Examination of inventory data revealed no
logical explanation for this occurrence. There were no apparent
peculiarities of the degree of firmness or other factors which
would have caused sales from all displays to decrease. The re-
duction in sales from all displays perhaps resulted from cus-
tomers' failure to recognize that, in addition to the 2 displays
priced at 29 cents, there was another at 17 cents. Further, the
12-cent differential might have indicated to some customers that
the cheaper fruit was actually inferior to that priced higher.
To the extent that customers associated price with quality, this
may well have caused a reduction in the number of 17-cent sales.

THE EFFECT OF DEGREE OF FIRMNESS ON SALES VOLUME
Avocados are generally not considered to be edible when they
are hard. Stored without refrigeration, a firm avocado will nor-
mally require 3 to 5 days to reach the mellow stage in which it
is most palatable. Customers who are sufficiently familiar with
the fruit to buy it for home consumption would also be expected
to know its firmness characteristics. Proceeding on this premise,
a certain number of customers would be expected to seek firm
fruit and others soft, depending upon when they planned to serve
it. Hence, 1 of the purposes of the store test was to determine
the preference of consumers for fruit with varying degrees of
firmness.
The number and percentage of fruit sold while they were
firm, breaking and soft is shown in Table 7. In the 4 stores com-
bined, 47, 45 and 8 percent of the number of fruit sold was firm,
breaking and soft, respectively. The distribution of sales be-
tween income areas differs notably, especially between the per-
centages of firm and soft fruit. The data show a much greater
preference for firm fruit in the high-income area than in the










TABLE 7.-TOTAL NUMBER AND PERCENTAGE OF AVOCADOS SOLD IN DIFFERENT STORES, BY DEGREE OF FIRMNESS AND INCOME
AREA, 4 STORES, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, OCTOBER 22-NOVEMBER 18, 1959.

Number Percent
Store Number1
SFirm* Breaking** Softt Total Firm* Breaking** Softt Total 0

Medium-Income Area

1 .......... ......... 186 245 98 529 35.16 46.31 18.53 100.00
2 ............... .- ..-......- 231 231 83 545 42.39 42.39 15.22 100.00


Total or Average ............... 417 476 181 1074 38.83 44.32 16.85 100.00

High-Income Area

3 .......... .....- ........- 597 429 48 1074 55.59 39.94 4.47 100.00
4 ................... .................. 437 464 21 922 47.40 50.32 2.28 100.00


Total or Average .............-- 1034 893 69 1969 51.80 44.74 3.46 100.00


Grand Total or Average ........ 1451 1369 250 3070 47.26 44.59 8.15 100.00

Fresh from refrigeration and unrefrigerated for 1 day.
** Unrefrigerated for 2, 3 and 4 days.
t Unrefrigerated for 5 or more days.








Price Variation on Retail Sales of Florida Avocados 25

medium. Conversely, preference for soft fruit was greater in
the medium area than in the high.
This presentation is, admittedly, quite deceptive. Since dis-
plays were always replenished as needed with firm fruit, there
were wide disparities between the number of fruit of each de-
gree of firmness on display. The number of firm or breaking
fruit on display always exceeded the number of soft. Often there
was no soft fruit in the displays from which customers could
select their purchases. This was especially true in the high-
income-area stores where the volume of fruit sold greatly ex-
ceeded that in the medium-income-area stores. The inability
of the project enumerators to provide customers with choices of
fruit of each degree of firmness at all times was an unavoidable
fallacy in the study design. The mechanical difficulties involved
in constantly providing fruit of each degree of firmness were
insurmountable within the prescribed budget. Further, it was
anticipated that a sufficient number of soft fruit would accumu-
late in the displays at various times throughout the study to pro-
vide a valid test of customers' preferences regarding the firm-
ness factor. It is the opinion of the writers that this objective
was adequately accomplished, although caution must be exercised
to avoid erroneous conclusions regarding this phase of the study.
Table 8 shows the number of avocados displayed and sold
at each degree of firmness. The percent column shows the pro-
portion of the displayed fruit which was sold at each degree of
firmness. It is believed that these percentages, shown in Table 8,
permit perception of consumers' preferences more readily than
the actual numbers of sales, which are also shown.
The largest percentage of sales in each income area was of
soft fruit; second largest, breaking; third, firm. Combining the
2 areas, 44 percent of the breaking fruit displayed was sold, 39
percent of the soft and 28 percent of the firm. However, it
is evident that the number of soft fruit displayed and sold in the
high-income area was so small that conclusions based on these
data are of questionable validity. Often in the high-income area,
but only once in the medium-income area, there were no soft
fruit in the displays from which the customers could select their
purchases. Hence, any inferences regarding degree-of-firmness
preferences must be based on findings in the medium-income
area. Statistical tests indicated that the degree of firmness had
a highly significant effect on increasing the volume of avocados
sold in stores in the medium-income area.









TABLE 8.-TOTAL NUMBER OF AVOCADOS SOLD AND SALES AS A PERCENTAGE OF FRUIT DISPLAYED WITH DIFFERENT DEGREES M
OF FIRMNESS, BY INCOME AREA AND STORE, 4 STORES, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, OCTOBER 22-NOVEMBER 18, 1959.

Firm* Breaking** Softt Total
Store I
Number Displayed Sold Percent Displayed Sold Percent Displayed Sold Percent Displayed Sold I Percent

0
Medium-Income Area 3.

1 ........ 890 186 20.9 852 245 28.8 212 98 46.2 1954 529 27.1
2 ........ 1021 231 22.6 708 231 32.6 316 83 26.3 2045 545 26.5

Total or _
Average 1911 417 21.8 1560 476 30.5 528 181 34.3 3999 1074 26.9

High-Income Area

3 ........ 1766 597 33.8 756 429 56.7 88 48 54.5 2610 1074 41.1
4 ........ 1541 437 28.4 818 464 56.7 31 21 67.7 2390 922 38.6
---------- --------- ----------------------_ _ _
Total or
Average 3307 1034 31.3 1574 893 56.7 119 69 58.0 5000 1996 39.9 ^


Grand
Total or CC
Average 5218 1451 27.8 3134 1369 43.7 647 250 38.6 8999 3070 34.1

Fresh from refrigeration and unrefrigerated for 1 day.
** Unretrigerated for 2, 3 or 4 days.
t Unrefrigerated for 5 or more days.








Price Variation on Retail Sales of Florida Avocados 27

Disregarding data of the high-income area, customers ex-
hibited strongest preference for soft fruit in store number 1,
and for breaking in store number 2. Combining data for the
2 medium-income stores, preference was strongest for soft fruit
(34 percent); second choice was for breaking (31 percent) ; and
firm was least preferred (22 percent). These data tend to indi-
cate that the majority of customers wanted fruit for consump-
tion within 1 to 2 days after purchase. Only about one-fifth of
the avocados displayed as firm fruit were sold while still firm.
The relationship of firmness to prices and blemish.-Since
the price and blemish treatments were superimposed on the firm-
ness treatment, it is important to consider the combined effect of
these variables. Table 9 shows that degree of blemish and price
exerted substantial influence on the quantities of fruit taken of
each firmness category. With few exceptions within the income
groups, the highest percentage of sales was of soft fruit regard-
less of the blemish group. The second largest percentage was
of breaking fruit and the smallest percentage was firm.
The relationships between quantities sold and price are the
same as shown in Tables 3 and 4. As the price increased on the
variable-priced displays, the percentage of sales from those dis-
plays decreased while the percentage taken from the 17-cent dis-
play increased. This relationship held generally for each firm-
ness group and degree of blemish. The data indicated that cus-
tomers preferred some firm, breaking and soft fruit at all prices
whether it was clear or blemished.
The percentage of the various fruit taken from the displays
in medium-income stores is summarized in Fig. 2. It is notable
here that as fruit became more soft, there was a greater relative
preference for the clear. This is readily understandable since
blemished fruit presents only a fair appearance when fresh and
firm. As it becomes soft and somewhat dehydrated, it has a far
less desirable exterior appearance than cleaner fruit which has
reached the same degree of softness. The internal quality and
edibility appeared equally good regardless of the degree of firm-
ness and blemish up to 6 or 7 days on display.

DATA ADJUSTMENT
The remaining sections of this report are of interest in this
report only as they affect the sale of avocados. It was necessary
to adjust the data for the effect of display position, weeks and
volume of store business in order to measure the controllable









TABLE 9.-PROPORTION OF AVOCADOS DISPLAYED AS FIRM, BREAKING AND SOFT FRUIT SOLD AS DISPLAYED, BY PRICE, DEGREE Lt
OF BLEMISH AND INCOME AREA, 4 STORES, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, OCTOBER 22-NOVEMBER 18, 1959. O

Degree of Blemish
Price I
(Cents) 0-5% 15-25%* 15-25%**
Firm Breaking Soft Firm I Breaking | Soft Firm Breaking Soft

Percent .
Medium-Income Area

17 ..... ...... ...................... ... 39.19 43.51 76.92 19.05 27.34 32.50 13.39 26.15 23.91
21 ................................... .... 24.24 37.50 60.00 4.05 17.11 26.83 19.55 28.19 43.18
25 ....................................... 16.13 42.86 42.86 16.36 20.45 25.71 25.77 33.61 50.00
29 ............................ 18.70 20.77 29.63 11.21 24.14 13.64 29.41 45.08 40.74


Weighted Average ........... 25.39 36.25 45.26 13.87 21.84 25.00 23.01 32.89 38.71

High-Income Area
SI .
17 ................................ 49.00 69.62 0.00 30.19 76.00 40.00 30.45 53.85 66.67
21 ......................... .......... 25.48 67.76 100.00 15.74 58.82 71.43 41.25 61.47 40.00
25 ..... .....................---...... 25.00 65.71 0.00t 10.32 42.17 40.00 41.67 64.57 100.00
29 .......... .................. 19.80 48.55 81.25 3.70 34.93 60.00 36.71 53.55 100.00


Weighted Average ............. 33.33 62.28 78.95 17.07 50.28 49.35 37.68 57.87 69.57


Grand Average ............ 30.23 48.90 49.36 15.91 36.50 30.99 32.63 45.51 42.70

Always priced identical to adjacent display of 0-to 5-percent blemished fruit.
"** Always priced at 17 cents.
t No soft fruit displayed. Sold before reaching soft stage.








Price Variation on Retail Sales of Florida Avocados 29

variables of interest. It is felt that the variation in sales due
to these three factors was important enough to be included in
this bulletin. Therefore, the following are presented for infor-
mation purposes.


Firm

SBreaking

Percent, L Soft



60



50



40



30



20







0
0-5% 15-25%a 15-25%b
Degree of Blemish
"Always priced identical to adjacent display of 0- to 5-percent blemished
fruit.
bAlways priced at 17 cents.

Figure 2.-Percentage of avocados sold from displays of firm, breaking
and soft fruit, according to degree of blemish, medium-income stores, Phila-
delphia, Pennsylvania, October 22-November 18, 1959.

The effect of display positions on sales.-The relative posi-
tions of the displays were rotated between each time period to







30 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

minimize the possible effect of customers' buying more heavily
from the display which they first encountered. Apparently this
method of alternating the display positions was effective. Ap-
proximately one-third of the total avocado sales were from each
position-left, center and right (Table 10). The largest per-
centage (35.9) of fruit was sold from the center display. An
explanation of this perhaps lies in the fact that a 17-cent price
was offered in this location more frequently than in other posi-
tions (Table 11). The largest volume of fruit was always sold
at the lowest price, volume decreasing as price increased, regard-
less of the position in which the various prices appeared.
The average number of sales in each position varied by only
4 fruit, from 30.5 to 34.4 (Table 11). Such small variation indi-
cates that the relative positions of displays had essentially no
effect on the volumes of fruit sold from each display.
The effect of weeks on sales.-There was considerable varia-
tion in the number of fruit sold in different weeks of the study.
Price combinations were assigned to stores by weeks, however,
and much of the variation in sales might be attributed to price
effect rather than weeks. Table 12 shows that no particular
pattern of variation was associated with weeks. There was a
very definite pattern associated with the price combinations.
Almost without exception, the largest volume was sold with price
combination 1, when all displays were priced at 17 cents. Volume
steadily decreased between price combinations 1 and 4 as the
price on 2 displays increased from 17 to 29 cents. This pattern
of decreasing volume with increasing prices held regardless of
the weeks in which the various prices were offered. This is evi-
dence that weeks had little effect on relative sales volumes.
Again, there is notable difference between the income areas
both in total volume of sales and in the rate of reduction in vol-
ume as price was increased above 17 cents. Aside from this,
there appears no significant pattern of sales associated with
weeks from 1 income area to the other.
Avocado sales and volume of store business.-The number
of avocados sold per 100 customers and per $100 of produce
sales was, as expected, a function of the number and relative in-
come of customers patronizing the test stores. The number of
customers shopping in each store and the dollar volume of pro-
duce sales were determined from records maintained by the
stores.









Price Variation on Retail Sales of Florida Avocados 31

TABLE 10.-PERCENTAGE OF AVOCADOS SOLD AT EACH LOCATION AND PRICE,
4 STORES, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, OCTOBER 22-NOVEMBER 18,
1959.*

Price (Cents)
Location I Weighted
Average
17 21 25 29


Percent

Left .............. 29.9 36.8 38.9 31.9 32.3

Center .............. 38.8 33.3 22.0 40.6 35.9

Right ...... ... 31.3 29.9 39.1 27.5 31.8


Total ........ 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

In the normal flow of traffic in each store, customers encountered the left-hand display
first; center, second; and right, last.

TABLE 11.-TOTAL NUMBER AND PERCENTAGE OF AVOCADOS SOLD ACCORDING
TO DISPLAY LOCATION AND PRICE, 4 STORES, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYL-
VANIA, OCTOBER 22-NOVEMBER 18, 1959.*

Location Price Frequency Number Average Percent
(Cents) J _

Left .................... 17 15 564 37.6 56.8
21 6 171 28.5 17.2
25 6 163 27.2 16.4
29 5 95 19.0 9.6


Total or Average 32 993 31.0 100.0


Center ............... 17 18 733 40.7 66.6
21 4 155 38.8 14.0
25 4 92 23.0 8.4
29 6 121 20.2 11.0


Total or Average 32 1101 34.4 100.0


Right .......... 17 15 591 39.4 60.6
21 6 139 23.2 14.2
25 6 164 27.3 16.8
29 5 82 16.4 8.4


Total or Average 32 976 30.5 100.0

In the normal flow of traffic in each store, customers encountered the left-hand display
first; center, second; and right, last.








32 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

TABLE 12.-TOTAL NUMBER AND PERCENTAGE OF AVOCADOS SOLD EACH
WEEK AT DIFFERENT PRICE COMBINATIONS, BY STORES, 4 STORES, PHILA-
DELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, OCTOBER 22-NOVEMBER 18, 1959.

Store Number Week Price Amount Sold
Combination* Number Percent
Medium-Income Area

1 ........................ 1 3 129 24.38
2 2 138 26.09
3 4 105 19.85
4 1 157 29.68

Total ... ...... ...... 529 100.00


2 ---...................... 1 2 132 24.22
2 1 135 24.77
3 3 151 27.71
4 4 127 23.30

Total ..-------------...... 545 100.00

High-Income Area

3 --................. ..... 1 4 226 21.04
S 2 3 248 23.09
S 3 1 333 31.01
4 2 267 24.86

Total ......... 1074 100.00

4 ............................ 1 1 274 29.72
I 2 4 184 19.95
3 2 234 25.38
4 3 230 24.95


Total ........................ 922 100.00
As identified in Table 1, page 9.


Table 13 shows that high-income clientele had a consider-
ably higher rate of purchases than the medium-income clientele.
These data also emphasize the low rate of turnover of avocados
with an average of only 1.26 fruit being purchased by each 100
customers.








Price Variation on Retail Sales of Florida Avocados 33

TABLE 13.-AvocADos SOLD PER 100 CUSTOMERS AND PER $100 OF PRODUCE
SALES, BY STORES AND INCOME AREA, 4 STORES, PHILADELPHIA, PENN-
SYLVANIA, OCTOBER 22-NOVEMBER 18, 1959.

Avocados Sold Per
Store Number
Store Number 100 Customers $100 of Produce Sales
__Number
Medium-Income Area

1 ..................................... 1.19 2.64
2 ....................--...............- .69 2.04

Average ....-....... ....--........... .87 2.30

High-Income Area

3 .................................... 1.49 2.67
4 ..............................- ....... 1.88 4.07

Average .--..---.. -......... ..... 1.65 3.20

Combined Areas

Average ..-.---------------.. --.. 1.26 2.82



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Grateful appreciation for valuable assistance in the prepara-
tion and conduct of this study is expressed to all who partici-
pated. Mr. H. E. Kendall, South Florida Growers Association, co-
operated in securing, packing and shipping fruit. Mr. R. M.
Wimbish and members of the Homestead Office of the Federal-
State Inspection Service supervised the grading of fruit accord-
ing to standards for each test. The Avocado Administrative
Committee granted exemptions permitting the shipping of fruit
for test purposes.
Messrs. William and Robert Gosser and Russell Wunner,
H. J. Gosser and Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, extended
the facilities of that organization for the receipt, storage and
distribution of supplies and the administrative and accounting
procedures. Penn Fruit Company, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsyl-
vania, supplied the test stores and furnished information re-
quired for the transformation of data for analytical purposes.








34 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations







APPENDIX

APPENDIX TABLE 1.-ENUMERATION OF FACTORS COMPARED IN ORTHO-
GONAL COMPARISONS TO YIELD MAIN EFFECT AND INTERACTION
SUMS OF SQUARES, ANALYSIS OF AVOCADO SALES DATA,
4 STORES, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA,
OCTOBER 22-NOVEMBER 18, 1959.

Degrees
Effect of Comparisons Description
Freedom

Stores .... 3 (1)-(2)+(3)+(4) Income Effect
(1)-(2)+(3)-(4)
(1)+(2)+(3)-(4)
Weeks .. 3 (1)+(2)-(3)-(4)
(1)-(2)-(3)+(4)
(1)-(2)+(3)-(4)
Periods .. 1 (1)-(2) (Mon., Tues.,
& Wed.)
vs.
(Thurs., Fri.,
& Sat.)
Blemish .. 2 (0 to 5%)-(15 to 25%)* Linear
(0 to 5%)+(15 to 25%)**- Quadratic
2(15 to 25%)t
Price ...... 3 -3(170)-(214)+(25) +3(290) Linear
(170)- (21) )- (25) + (290) Quadratic
--(17) +3(210)-3(250)+(290) Cubic
Age ........ 2 (Firm)-(Soft) Linear
(Firm) -2 (Breaking) + (Soft) Quadratic

Includes only variable-priced display of 15- to 26-percent blemished fruit.
** Priced at 17, 21, 25 and 29 cents.
t Always priced at 17 cents.









Price Variation on Retail Sales of Florida Avocados 35



APPENDIX TABLE 2.-ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE, NUMBER OF AVOCADOS
SOLD, STORES 1 AND 2, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA,
OCTOBER 22-NOVEMBER 18, 1959.


Source of ] Degrees Sum of Mean "F"
Variation i of Squares ISquare Ratio
Freedom

Stores ............................-......... -- 1 1.78 1.78 0.45
W eeks ...----..........---........... .. ....-. 3 13.14 4.38 1.11
Stores x Weeks ............---....- 3 82.50 27.50 6.98
Periods .-..-................................. 1 667.36 667.36 169.38**
Periods x Stores ........-.....----- : 1 13.44 13.44 3.41
Periods x Weeks .................... i 3 56.14 18.71 4.75
Error (a) .........-..-... ... -3 11.83 3.94


Blemish ......................- ......-..--- 2 544.67 272.33 1 18.29**
Blemish x Stores ................. 2 54.05 27.02 1.81
Blemish x Weeks ................... 6 214.28 35.71 2.40
Blemish x Stores x Weeks .... 1 6 438.34 73.06 4.91*
Blemish x Periods ..............-. 2 25.39 12.69 0.85
Blemish x Periods x Stores .... 2 4.39 2.19 0.15
Blemish x Periods x Weeks ... 6 63.11 10.52 0.71
Error (b) -------------------- 6 89.33 14.89


Price ............... ......... .......... 3 56.08 18.69 3.65*
Linear ................................. 1 40.14 40.14 7.84**
Quadratic ...........-- ............. ...... 1 4.69 4.69 0.92
Cubic ..-.........-- -- ..-.. ....-- ... 1 11.25 11.25 2.20
Price x Stores ......................- ... 3 39.56 13.19 2.58
Price x Periods -................-... i 3 16.97 5.66 1.11
Price x Blemish ....-..--............. 6 525.11 87.52 17.09**
Error (c) ........................... 25 127.91 5.12


Age .......................-.....-............. 2 1,015.29 507.64 18.79**
Linear ..--......--......................... 1 580.17 580.17 21.48**
Quadratic ......--....................... 1 435.12 435.12 16.11**
Age x Stores ............................ 2 49.18 24.59 0.91
Age x W eeks ............................ 6 148.66 24.78 0.92
Age x Stores x Weeks ...-.. 6 51.54 8.59 0.32
Age x Periods ...............-...... 2 197.56 98.78 3.66*
Age x Periods x Stores ... 2 36.26 18.13 0.67
Age x Periods x Weeks ...... 6 248.57 41.43 1.53
Age x Blemish ..........-............. 4 289.29 72.32 2.68*
Age x Price ............--............... 6 121.01 20.17 0.75
Age x Price x Stores ........... 6 79.15 13.19 0.49
Error (d) .......................... 91 2,458.21 27.01


Total ...--......--..--- ....-- ......-.... 143 5,977.75

Significant at the 95 percent probability level.
** Significant at the 99 percent probability level.








36 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations









APPENDIX TABLE 3.-ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE, NUMBER OF AVOCADOS
SOLD, STORES 3 AND 4, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA,
OCTOBER 22-NOVEMBER 18, 1959.

Source of Degrees Sum of Mean "F"
Variation of Squares Square Ratio
Freedom I

Stores .......................................... 1 160.44 160.44 9.56
W eeks ......................................... 3 253.28 84.43 5.03
Stores x Weeks ........................ 3 327.61 109.20 6.50
Periods ........................................ 1 920.11 920.11 54.80**
Periods x Stores ....................... 1 0.44 0.44 0.03
Periods x Weeks ....................... 3 16.72 5.57 0.33
Error (a) ............................ 3 50.38 16.79


Blemish ..................................... 2 1,583.68 791.84 20.12**
Blemish x Stores ..................... 2 132.60 66.30 1.68
Blemish x Weeks ..................... 6 1,046.42 174.40 4.43*
Blemish x Stores x Weeks ... 6 498.18 83.03 2.11
Blemish x Periods ................... 2 35.26 17.63 0.45
Blemish x Periods x Stores 2 11.85 5.92 0.15
Blemish x Periods x Weeks 6 157.41 26.24 0.67
Error (b) ....................... 6 236.15 39.36 -


Price ........................................... 3 556.40 185.47 6.53**
Linear .................................. 1 523.61 523.61 18.42**
Quadratic ....................--.......-- 1 10.03 10.03 0.35
Cubic ....................................-.. 1 22.76 22.76 0.80
Price x Stores ........................ 3 24.50 8.17 0.29
Price x Periods ........................ 3 39.94 13.31 0.47
Price x Blemish ........................ 6 1,181.66 196.94 6.93**
Error (c) ............................ 25 710.55 28.42


Total .--.............. ............... 47 5,430.56 -

Significant at the 95 percent probability level.
** Significant at the 99 percent probability level.









Price Variation on Retail Sales of Florida Avocados 37








APPENDIX TABLE 4.-ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE, NUMBER OF AVOCADOS
SOLD, 4 STORES, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA,
OCTOBER 22-NOVEMBER 18, 1959.


Source of i Degrees Sum of Mean "F"
Variation of Squares Square Ratio
Freedom__

Stores ........... ........---- .............--- 3 3,133.90 1,037.97 125.21**
Income area ...........-............. 1 2,951.68 2,951.68 356.05**
1 & 3 vs. 2 & 4 ................... 1 64.22 64.22 7.75*
2 & 3 vs. 1 & 4 ............... 1 98.00 98.00 11.82**
W eeks ............- ............- ...---.... 3 100.15 33.38 4.03*
Stores x W eeks .-.................-. 9 576.37 64.04 7.72**
Periods -------...---....................-. 1 1,577.35 1,577.35 190.27**
Periods x Stores ............-........ 3 24.01 8.00 0.97
Periods x W eeks ...................... 3 60.48 20.16 2.43
Error (a) .--....-...........---- 9 74.60 8.29


Blemish -........-..------ ....... ....... --2 1,882.09 941.04 39.69**
Blemish x Stores .................... 6 432.91 72.15 3.04
Blemish x Weeks ....--------.....--- 6 410.15 68.36 2.88*
Blemish x Stores x Weeks ... 18 1,787.04 99.28 4.19**
Blemish x Periods ................... 2 59.88 29.94 1.26
Blemish x Periods x Stores 6 17.01 2.84 0.12
Blemish x Periods x Weeks 6 119.19 19.86 0.84
Error (b) .......................... 18 426.79 23.71


Price -.---..-..----..--..-...-.............- 3 460.34 153.45 5.98**
Linear ...............--- ............. 1 426.84 426.84 16.63**
Quadratic ..........-..------ ........ 1 0.50 0.50 0.02
Cubic .............. -----............... --1 33.00 33.00 1.28
Price x Stores --........--------------- 9 216.17 24.02 0.94
Price x Periods ....................... 3 46.24 15.41 0.60
Price x Blemish ......................... 6 1,596.98 266.16 10.37**
Error (c) .-----........- ...... 65 1,668.70 25.67


Total ---------..-..... .............. 95 110,661.92

Significant at the 95 percent probability level.
** Significant at the 99 percent probability level.









38 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

APPENDIX TABLE 5.-SUMMARY OF ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE "F" RATIOS,
ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE TABLES, BY INCOME AREAS, PHILADELPHIA,
PENNSYLVANIA, OCTOBER 22-NOVEMBER 18, 1959.

Medium- High- Income Areas
Source of Income Income Combined
Variation Area Area
Stores Stores Stores
1 and 2 3 and 4 1, 2, 3 and 4

Number Number Number

Stores ...........................--........--- 0.45 9.56 125.21**
Income area .............................. 356.05**
1 & 3 vs. 2 & 4 ................... 7.75*
2 & 3 vs. 1 & 4 ................... --- 11.82**
W eeks ..-..................- ........ ......... -1.11 .5.03 4.03*
Stores x W eeks -......................... 6.98 6.50 7.72**
Periods ...........-..................... .... -169.38** 54.80** 190.27**
Periods x Stores .........-.............. 3.41 0.03 0.97
Periods x W eeks ...............-- ........ 4.75 0.33 2.43
Error (a) (Mean Square) 3.94 16.79 8.29


Blemish .........-.... --.......-....... ..... 18.29** 20.12** 36.69**
Blemish x Stores ....................... 1.81 1.68 3.04
Blemish x W eeks ....................... -- 2.40 4.43* 2.88*
Blemish x Stores x Weeks ..... 4.91* 2.11 4.19**
Blemish x Periods ..................... 0.85 0.45 1.26
Blemish x Periods x Stores ... 0.15 0.15 0.12
Blemish x Periods x Weeks ... 0.71 0.67 0.84
Error (b) (Mean Square) 14.89 39.36 23.71


Price .......-...-- ...- ...- ....- ............ 3.65* 6.53** 5.97**
Linear .............. --............... ..... 7.84** 18.42** 16.63**
Quadratic .................................. 0.92 0.35 0.02
Cubic ........-............................. .. 2.20 0.80 1.28
Price x Stores ............................. 2.58 0.29 0.94
Price x Periods ..---...................... 1.11 0.47 0.60
Price x Blemish ........................ 17.09 6.93** 10.37**
Error (c) (Mean Square) 5.12 28.42 25.67


Age ............-- ......-- ...- ... .......- .. 18.79**
Linear ..........-.....- ...... ...--....... 21.48**
Quadratic .......-.......-...............- .. 16.11**
Age x Stores ...............-............... 0.91
Age x W eeks ............................. 0.92
Age x Stores x Weeks .......... 0.32
Age x Periods ..............-- ..-...... ... 3.66*
Age x Periods x Stores ........... 0.67
Age x Periods x Weeks .......... 1.53
Age x Blemish .......................... 2.68*
Age x Price ........ ---......-.... ......... 0.75
Age x Price x Stores ............... 0.49
Error (d) (Mean Square) 27.01

Significant at the 95 percent probability level.
** Significant at the 99 percent probability level.






























































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