Consumer preferences for fig fruit (Ficus carica L.) quality attributes and postharvest storage at low temperature by in-store survey and focus group
Fig (Ficus carica L.) is cultivated mainly in southern Italy and in several countries of the Mediterranean area. According to official statistics the quantities of fresh fig placed on domestic market are low, though the home consumption is known to be relatively high in summer. The objective of this study was to discover consumers' preferences for sensory, quality attributes of fresh fig and primary drivers of liking, in order to enhance fruit marketing value. An in-store consumer test and two focus groups were carried out to assess preferences in regards to fresh figs after 3 and 7 days of storage at low temperature: the selected sensory, intrinsic and extrinsic attributes were ranked by consumers. Spearman rank-order correlation coefficient was applied. Results demonstrate that intrinsic and extrinsic attributes of fig are not the key drivers of liking, contrarily the sensory attributes are. Sensory qualities of fruit are the main drivers for purchasing. Consumers' acceptance after 7 days of storage was good. Values of correlations between in-store evaluations and of focus group ones demonstrate the effectiveness of the storage at low temperature. These results may be important for future improvements in postharvest research and marketing actions in regards to consumers.
Ingrassia, M., Chironi, S., Allegra, A. and Sortino, G. 2017. Consumer preferences for fig fruit (Ficus carica L.) quality attributes and postharvest storage at low temperature by in-store survey and focus group. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1173:383-388
sensory test, consumer test, food product marketing, 'Melanzana'