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Consumer preference for apples: the role of attributes influencing the choice and consumption
Published March 25, 2009

Consumers consider good quality fruits to be those that look good, are firm and offer good flavour and nutritive value. Nowadays, consumers are, however, increasingly  interested  in food qualities which  cannot  be discovered  by  looking, tasting or smelling  the products but their roles are not yet really c...leared up. Therefore the objective of this study was to explore the importance of selected kinds of attributes (taste, size, colour, cultivar, origin and price) in fluencing the choice of apples of customers. In accordance with several authors, fruit qualities (taste, size and colour) seemed to be the major attributics influencing the choice of apple independently of people's age and gender. However, the size of fruit had lower importance with increased age. Generally, females gave higher importance rating for most attributes than did male. The price was getting more important for consumer's choice with age which can be connected with their socioeconomic situation. The origin of fruit and the cultivar did not have important influence on consumer's choice. Authors also investigated the preference of consumers for six selected apple varieties ('Jonagold', 'ldared', 'Royal Gala', 'Golden Reinders', 'Braeburn' and 'Granny Smith'). and pointed out the role of the origin in fruit quality and in choice of apple in the case of 'Granny Smith' cultivar. Apple fruit samples from Austria, Argentina, Chile, Hungary and South Africa were involved in this study. Authors evaluated fruit quality parameters of above cultivars and compared them to consumer preference. Consumer preference usually represented the quality attributes of the fruit well. It is also concluded that degree of liking of apple cultivars varies through gender and age. Children and young consumers preferred 'Royal Gala', 'Granny Smith  and 'Braeburn' mostly. In spite of 'Idared' is one of the cultivars grown on the largest area in Hungary, the lowest preference ratings were given for it in both gender categories. Middle-aged consumers (between 25 and 50 years or age) preferred crispy apples with red or blemished skin color ('Royal Gala' and 'Jonagold'). 'Jonagold' and 'Idared' were the most preferred cultivars for the consumers above the age of 50 likely because of their relatively low price, as price plays a significant influencing role in the purchase of these consumers. The relatively expensive and soury 'Granny Smith' appeared not really preferred by this age group. In spite of the significant differences in instrumentally measured fruit quality parameters among 'Granny Smith' fruit samples from different countries, consumers did not give significantly different preference rating scores for those.

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