Location: Horticultural Crops Research
2012 Annual Report
The overall goal of the project is to develop genetic information to hasten the development of the superior black raspberry cultivars that will fuel industry growth. In addition to being horticulturally superior, new berry cultivars will need to possess quality traits that invoke greater consumer demand if this industry expansion is to occur. But, what are the quality traits that matter most to consumers? What genetic characteristics in existing or future breeding stock could be incorporated into new cultivars that would stimulate consumers to purchase berries more frequently and in greater quantities? Finally, what are the most effective messaging methods available to producers to interest and educate potential consumers about the benefits of eating more black raspberries? The Ohio team in this project aims to provide answers to these and other questions concerning the probable socioeconomic drivers of industry growth and to communicate these answers to the public via extension venues and web-based formats. To fulfill our roles in this project, Ohio State University researchers are committed to conducting a comprehensive black raspberry marketing assessment by developing and implementing instruments (actual and/or web-based) that identify and prioritize consumer attitudes toward purchasing and consuming black raspberries, and by conducting consumer interviews (individual and/or group) using these instruments. As a part of this goal, we will ascertain sensory factors that may influence fresh and processed black raspberry acceptability by conducting consumer (untrained) “taste tests” in Ohio and Oregon and to quantify these traits in standard cultivars and advanced breeding lines using Ohio-based trained sensory panelists. The endeavors described above complement all genetic studies in this project and may direct current and future black raspberry breeders in selecting fruit quality traits that foster industry growth through increased consumer demand. Herein, Ohio researchers also act as one of four university-based hosts for two segregating (“mapping”) populations of black raspberry breeding stock to be used to locate (“map”) important horticultural and fruit quality trait genes within black raspberry and to study their stability in differing environments. Finally, the Ohio team will participate fully in outreach efforts to report project accomplishments, to test market health and quality-related messaging strategies that promote black raspberry consumption, and to outline potentially-effective strategies for industry growth to all members of the supply chain.