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What are the cultural effects on consumers' perceptions? A case study covering coalho cheese in the Brazilian northeast and southeast area using word association

Soares, Eveline K.B., Esmerino, Erick A., Ferreira, Marcus Vinícius S., da Silva, Maria Aparecida A.P., Freitas, Mônica Q., Cruz, Adriano G.
Food research international 2017 v.102 pp. 553-558
case studies, cheeses, consumer attitudes, discriminant analysis, guidelines, least squares, manufacturing, marketing strategies, sensory properties
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of regional diversity aspects related to consumers' perceptions of coalho cheese, with Brazilian Northeast and Southeast consumers (n=400, divided equally in each area) using Word Association (WA) task. Different perceptions were detected for both Northeast and Southeast consumers, and among 17 categories elicited for describing coalho cheese, only 7 categories (positive feeling, social aspects, sensory characteristic, dairy product technology, negative feeling, and lack of quality standard) presented significant differences in the frequency of mention according to chi-square per cell approach. The application of the discriminant technique Partial Least Square Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA) indicated that the categories “Social”, “Accompaniment”, “Manufacturing method” were the main responsible for differentiating consumers' perceptions of both areas. Overall, the main dimensions involved in the consumers' perceptions of coalho cheese from different Brazilian regions were identified, thus obtaining comprehensive insights that can be used as a guideline for coalho cheese producers to develop marketing strategies considering the intra-cultural differences.