Before environmental horticulture growers invest in producing pollinator-friendly plants, they need to understand whether consumers care about pollinator health, as well as their willingness to purchase these plants.
Urban environments are already fairly diverse with multiple kinds of flowering plants, but they may not be the best food for various different bees. When it comes to purchasing plants, we already know that flowers attractive to humans may not be the same ones attractive to bees. Studying how we humans look at retail plant displays can help retail plant suppliers improve displays to better guide consumers to the best pollinator plants for their yard.
This area of our research seeks to fill in data gaps by answering:
- Are consumers aware of the current status of pollinator health?
- What types of labels are best suited to promote pollinator-forage plants?
- What are consumers willing to pay for pollinator-forage plants?
To answer each of these research questions, we developed a computer-based survey and combined it with eye-tracking software.
Within the survey we present participants with plants marked with various price points and pollinator-friendly labels. For each participant, we track how willing they are to purchase different plants, how much of a premium they are willing to pay, and which plants/labels attract most of their visual attention.
The survey also investigates participant’s level of awareness of pollinator health issues.
Researchers: Dr. Hayk Khachatryan