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The Right Tortilla for the Right Occasion: Variation in Consumers’ Willingness to Pay for Blue Maize Tortillas Based on Utilization


This study examined consumers’ purchasing habits and demand in peri-urban Mexico City for three types of tortillas: i) machine-made white, ii) handmade white, and iii) handmade blue. As part of a sensory analysis, the participants rated the blue maize tortillas significantly higher across all categories (overall score, flavour, smell, texture in mouth, texture in hand, size, thickness, and colour). To explore how demand varies according to the intended use, we conducted a choice experiment using three scenarios: in-home daily use, in-home special event, and out-of-home consumption. Consumers were willing to pay (WTP) 42% more for the blue maize tortillas when eating out, but were WTP less for daily in-home consumption. Participants reported limited access to blue maize tortillas and insufficient knowledge about product availability. Findings suggest a considerable demand-side opportunity for expansion of the blue maize market; however, limitations on the supply side are likely to be a major barrier.

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