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Testing lexical equivalences for wine flavours in emerging markets: Do hawthorns taste like blackberries?

Corsi, Armando Maria, Cohen, Justin, Lockshin, Larry, Williamson, Patricia
Food quality and preference 2017 v.62 pp. 296-306
blackberries, correspondence analysis, exports, flavor, markets, taste, terminology, wines, China
One of the issues facing any food or beverage export sector is describing the sensory characteristics of products using local, meaningful terminology. This task is further complicated when the food or beverage is relatively new to the importing country, as the descriptive words from the original country may not have the same meaning in the new country. This research focuses on testing the equivalence of flavour descriptors typically used for wine in Western countries with local descriptors more likely to be understood in the fast growing market for wine in China. In particular, the objective of this research is to analyse the use of local vs. non-local sensory descriptors within one market, and identify the potential equivalences between these two groups of descriptors. The study involves two pre-studies and one main experiment. The first pre-study identifies the wines used in the main experiment; the second pre-study leads to the generation of both generic and specific terms and the hypothesised equivalences between local and non-local descriptors used in the main experiment, while the main experiment tests the hypothesised equivalences using both CATA and correspondence analysis. The results show that generic terms are used approximately three times more often than specific terms; there are few significant differences in the use of generic terms between Chinese (local) and Western (non-local) descriptors, and Chinese specific descriptors are not selected consistently more often than the Western specific descriptors. In addition, while the majority of the hypothesised equivalences are verified, some of the assumed Chinese replacements were not validated.