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Abstract

Growth in imports of strawberries, particularly from Mexico, threaten the Florida strawberry industry. To better compete with strawberries from Mexico, the Florida strawberry industry has focused on product differentiation with an emphasis on quality. In this study, we conducted one sensory test combined with experimental auctions to examine the impact of fruit quality and labeling strategies on consumer purchase. Two strawberry varieties, Sweet Sensation and Festival are used in the experiment. Ten samples with different labels under different strawberry varieties were randomly presented to participants. In total 103 panelists participated in sensory test and experimental auction. Results show that without labeling, consumers cannot distinguish different varieties of strawberry. In most cases, labeling varieties does not directly affect consumer preference. This indicates that actions need to be taken to improve consumers’ awareness and recognition of variety labels such as Sweet Sensation.

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