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Consumer acceptance for green tea by consumers in the United States, Korea and Thailand

Lee, J., Chambers, E. IV, Chambers, D.H., Chun, S.S., Oupadissakoon, C., Johnson, D.E.
Journal of sensory studies 2010 v.25 no.s1 pp. 109-132
bitterness, consumer acceptance, green tea, Korean Peninsula, Thailand, United States
Green tea consumption has been common in some countries for centuries, but in others, it is just finding popularity. The objectives of this study were to (1) determine the liking of green tea by consumers in three countries: Korea, where green tea is commonly consumed; Thailand, an Asian country where green tea is generally consumed in a cold form; and the U.S.A., a country where green tea is not commonly consumed, and (2) identify the attributes which appear to influence consumers' liking. The liking of green tea varied depending on the country and the consumer segment. Korean consumers generally liked the green tea samples with various green flavors and moderate bitterness, although a few of the Korean consumer segments liked samples with other flavor profiles. Most of the U.S. consumers liked the tea samples that had brown, fruity or sweet aromatic flavors with little or no green flavors. Thai consumers preferred tea samples with fruity flavors and no green flavor. Regardless of the consumers' origin, the green tea samples with the highest bitterness were disliked. The current research suggests that familiarity plays a role in tea acceptance. However, various flavor profiles may be acceptable to consumers who are from different countries and are familiar with other flavors of green tea. This suggests that although familiarity plays a role in consumers' acceptance, other factors also contribute to liking. This study has particular implications for the selection of mass-marketed green teas.