Effect of Pulp Pigmentation Intensity on Consumer Acceptance of New Blood Mandarins: A Cross-Cultural Study in Spain and Italy
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Cita bibliográficaGiménez-Sanchis, A., Pons-Gómez, A., Farina, V. & Besada, C. (2022). Effect of Pulp Pigmentation Intensity on Consumer Acceptance of New Blood Mandarins: A Cross-Cultural Study in Spain and Italy. Agronomy, 12(12), 3058.
One of the current objectives of different citrus breeding programmes is obtaining new pigmented mandarins. This study investigates to what extent consumer preferences, expectations and purchase intention are affected by the appearance of new mandarins, specifically pulp pigmentation intensity. Four hundred consumers from both Italy and Spain (800 in all) participated in the study. In each country, half were informed about the healthy properties of the anthocyanins responsible for red pulp colouration, while the other half were not. Italians more readily accepted new mandarin varieties than Spaniards, which was linked to them being more familiar with blood oranges. In Italy, both slight-and medium-pigmented mandarins were well-accepted. Spanish consumers preferred the slight-pigmented variety. The most intense pigmented varieties were not well-accepted in either country. Health-related information positively affected Spaniards’ consumer response but did not modify that of Italians. A halo effect was detected in Spain, where health-related information positively affected mandarin appearance liking and its expected taste liking. Consumer perception that new varieties were unnatural was identified as a consumption barrier, mainly in Spain. Blood orange familiarity and health claims are revealed as conditioning factors for consumer response to pigmented mandarins. Interventions should be made to inform consumers that these varieties are obtained by conventional breeding and not by transgenic technology. Future studies should evaluate consumer response to other sensory characteristics, such as odour, taste and texture.