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Acceptability of yogurt and yogurt-like products: influence of product information and information and consumer characteristics and preferences

Bayarri, Sara, Carbonell, Inmaculada, Barrios, Edith X., Costell, Elvira
Journal of sensory studies 2010 v.25 no.s1 pp. 171-189
consumer acceptance, consumer information, consumer preferences, consumer surveys, gender, markets, new products, nutrition labeling, sensory properties, yogurt
This work aims to investigate whether the information about product type and the nutritional label affects consumer acceptability of yogurt and fermented milk. Hedonic evaluations of seven commercial samples, three yogurts and four fermented milks were elicited from 120 consumers under blind tasting conditions, looking at a card with the product type and with the label nutritional facts and finally, tasting labeled products. For the whole group of consumers, nutritional information did not affect the acceptability of these products although analysis of individual consumer behavior showed that only for around 50% of consumers surveyed, this result reflects on their actual response. When data for subgroups of consumers of different gender or age or with different preference pattern were considered, differences in the influence of nutritional information on samples acceptability were detected. These results confirm that the data averaged from the consumer whole population cannot accurately reflect the real behavior of the population surveyed. More complete and valid information can be gained from analyzing the responses of the consumer subgroups of different characteristics or with different individual preferences. Currently, there are a lot of new dairy products with different sensory and nutritional characteristics on the market. Confirmation or disconfirmation of the expectations generated by the nutritional information plays an important role in consumers' acceptance of these products. The results of this work provide information about the different conclusions that can be drawn when one considers average acceptance data for the whole population of consumers or average data of consumer subgroups (i.e., different gender, age or individual preferences).