A consumer test carried out in 7 different European countries compared 3 standard apple varieties to 8 new ones. A total of 4290 consumers took part in the test. Data from this test was used to develop a preference map for apple. The preference map was constructed with 3 main dimensions (1 – sweetness, fruitiness, flowery attributes, 2 – acidity, firmness, 3 – juiciness and crispness). Consumers were segmented in 6 clusters according to their preferences. The 6 clusters were grouped into two main mega clusters A (68% of consumers) and B (32% of consumers). Megacluster A (Clusters 1, 2, 5 and 6) was characterized by preferring sweet apples. Clusters 2 and 5 (41% of consumers) liked sweet apples independently of their acidity and firmness and moderate positive values on dimension of juiciness and crispness. Cluster 1 (21% of consumers) had an optimal point in positive values of the sweetness dimension, moderate negative value for acidity and firmness and moderate positive value for juiciness and crispness. Cluster 6 (6% of consumers) besides preferring sweet varieties disliked acid-firm varieties. As to regard to megacluster B (Clusters 3 and 4) (32% of consumers), they preferred varieties that were acidic-firm and juiciy and crisp with values in the mid range of the sweetness dimension. In spite of the difficulties in translating preference dimensions into standard practical values for fruit quality and the fact of being a punctual measurement of consumer behaviour, this preference map could be of practical use of different actors on the fruit value chain like marketers and breeders.
- vegetable consumption