Submitted to: Agribusiness: An International Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 30, 2011
Publication Date: October 30, 2011
Citation: House, L.A., Gao, Z., Spreen, T.H., Gmitter, F.G., Valim, M.F., Plotto, A., Baldwin, E.A. 2011. Consumer preference for mandarins: Implications of a sensory analysis. Agribusiness: An International Journal. 27(4):450-464.
Interpretive Summary: Increasing consumption of mandarin type of citrus has prompted a study to understand consumer behavior. A consumer survey showed that internal characteristics(sweetness, shape, acidity and flavor)were more important for adult and children consumers than juiciness, color, size and number of seeds. However, in that study, only a fruit wedge was presented, and not whole fruit, and ease of peeling was not addressed. Ease of peeling a mandarin may be an important factor in consumer preference, and it may explain the high popularity of Clementines, in spite of lesser flavor and juiciness in comparison to larger mandarins.
While consumption of mandarins has grown steadily in the United States, mandarin cultivars being produced and consumed have been changing. The goal of this research is to identify factors that impact consumer choice of mandarins. In this analysis, consumers were presented with multiple mandarins for taste tests and then asked to identify their willingness to purchase the products. The results from our study suggest that sweetness, shape, acidity and flavor are the most important factors related to their willingness to try a mandarin, and factors such as seeds, size of fruit, color, and overall appearance were less important.