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How do consumer hedonic ratings for extra virgin olive oil relate to quality ratings by experts and descriptive analysis ratings?

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Claudia Delgado, Jean-Xavier Guinard (2011). Food Quality and Preference 22, 213–225.

A consumer study was conducted to evaluate preferences and attitudes regarding extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) in an emergent market, the US. A generic descriptive analysis was used on 22 samples of EVOO in order to identify the drivers of liking for this consumer population. Results showed that, for the majority of consumers, bitterness and pungency were negative drivers of liking. Properties that drove positive ratings were fruity (green and ripe), nutty, and tea-like flavors. A panel of EVOO experts provided quality
ratings for the products and these were correlated to the hedonic ratings by consumers, revealing some disconnection between consumer preferences and expert evaluations. Cluster analysis and preference mapping of the consumer hedonic ratings revealed segmentation of preferences. The EVOO’s price, available information, and reputation were key factors that drove purchases in this consumer population.

 

Keywords: Consumer preferences; Consumer attitudes; Sensory properties; Extra virgin olive oil; Segmentation.

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