Consumer Information Needs and Sensory Label Design for Fresh Fruit Packaging. An Exploratory Study in Spain
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Cita bibliográficaFernández-Serrano, P.; Tarancón, P.; Besada, C. (2021). Consumer Information Needs and Sensory Label Design for Fresh Fruit Packaging. An Exploratory Study in Spain. Foods, 10, 72.
In recent decades, packaged fruit has gained market ground over loose fruit, and fruit containers have become a source of information for consumers. This study approaches three objectives related to consumer information needs for decision making when purchasing fruit: (1) Determine if consumers’ choice of packaged fruit rather than loose fruit is motivated by their interest in the information provided on packaging; (2) identify information gaps on fruit packaging labels; (3) identify those sensory attributes that consumers consider to be of major interest to be included in sensory labels of different fruit types. The study was based on an online questionnaire answered by 394 fruit consumers. Ninety percent of the participants stated having an interest in receiving information when purchasing fruit, but their choice between packaged or loose fruit was not conditioned by their information needs. Moreover, a gap between information interest and information use was detected as their final purchase decisions were not always based on the provided information. ‘Harvest date’, ‘production method’, ‘percentage of the price received by the farmer’, ‘applied treatments’, ‘sensory characteristics’, and ‘environmental information’ were identified as the major information gaps, as these labels were unavailable for a high percentage of consumers, who stated their interest in them. According to consumers, sensory labels should include information about ‘sweetness’ and ‘flavor intensity’ irrespectively of fruit type. ‘Sourness’ and ‘juiciness’ attributes were particularly interesting for citrus, as ‘sourness’ and ‘firmness’ were for kiwi. Information about texture properties was required for pome and stone fruit. Other attributes, such as easiness to peel, were important only for citrus fruit.