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Assessing and taking into account the subjects’ experience and knowledge in consumer studies. Application to the free sorting of wine glasses

Faye, P., Courcoux, P., Giboreau, A., Qannari, E.M.
Food quality and preference 2013 v.28 no.1 pp. 317-327
models, questionnaires, sorting, wines
The degree of knowledge of a panel of consumers about the stimuli under study is assessed by means of a questionnaire. From the scores obtained by means of a Rasch measurement model, the consumers were segmented into three groups. In order to assess the impact of the consumers’ knowledge and experience onto their perception of wine glasses, a free sorting experiment was undergone. The group of consumers identified as connoisseurs sorted the glasses into six categories based on usage and technical properties. The group of consumers identified as non connoisseurs showed less agreement in their sorting of the glasses and mainly based their assessment on descriptive properties related to the design and the shape of the glasses. Thus, the perceptual representations of the glasses and their descriptions are different between the groups of consumers and are impacted by the previous knowledge and the experience of the subjects and their involvement toward the products.