Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 10, Issue 2,2012
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

Assessing consumer attitudes towards fresh fruit and vegetable attributes


Cihat Gunden *, Terrence Thomas

Recieved Date: 2012-01-06, Accepted Date: 2012-04-30


The preemptive objective of this study was to assess consumer attitudes towards fresh fruit and vegetables along five attributes: nutrition value, hygiene, taste, affordable price and freshness. Data were collected from a random sample of 412 consumers in three states of the U.S.: Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Fuzzy pair-wise comparison was employed to designate the degree of an individual consumer’s preferences for fresh fruit and vegetable attributes. The results show that consumers prefer food attributes in the following order: freshness, taste, hygiene, nutritional value and affordable price. However, heterogeneous preferences for the attributes exist among consumers. To identify this heterogeneity, cluster analysis was used to classify consumers by means of consumers’ age, education and employment status. Three distinct segmentations of consumers were obtained and labeled as “young professional”, “older-employed” and “oldest-unemployed”. A comparison of the preferences of the attributes between clusters indicates that young professionals prefer freshness more than the other two groups of consumers. The segmentation of consumers provides information on consumer preferences that farmers can use to tailor the marketing of fresh fruits and vegetables to meet consumers’ needs. Additionally, multidimensional scaling was used to obtain the perceptual map of consumers for fresh fruit and vegetable attributes. The findings denote that consumers perceive freshness as a distinct food attribute quite separate from nutrition value, hygiene, taste and affordable price. Moreover, consumers tend to accord the same level of priority to hygiene and nutritional value, and the same level of priority to taste and price. The data suggest that there is an opportunity to develop an education program that teaches consumers to assess all the attributes of fresh fruits and vegetables in making purchasing decisions. 


Consumer attitude, consumer segmentation, fresh fruit-vegetable attribute, fuzzy pair-wise comparison, multidimensional scaling

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2012
Volume: 10
Issue: 2
Category: Food and Health
Pages: 85-88

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