Project Update: Consumer Preference Test
August has been a busy month for us out in the Physalis field. Our groundcherries appeared to reach peak production levels the first week of August, and our goldenberries steadily produced for all of August. This was great news as we had scheduled a consumer preference study with the Sensory Evaluation Center in the Cornell Department of Food Science, and needed to provide fruit samples for at least 100 participants!
As part of the study 100+ respondents would evaluate 4 types of Physalis, “Pineapple” and “Goldie” (P. pruinosa) and “India” and “Goldenberry” (P. peruviana). Participants did not know which type they were receiving and each sample type was coded with a numeric identifier.
Testers received two pieces of fruit from each type that had been pre-selected for uniform ripeness based on harvest date and appearance. Samples were sent through a chute that had the respondent on the other side with a computer-based questionnaire.
Participants answered a series of questions on aspects such as physical appearance, feel, flavor, aroma, liking, purchase behavior and more. A computer let us know when each participant was ready for the next sample, and the order that they received their samples was completely randomized by the computer.
At the end of day 102 participants had completed the evaluation, of those respondents
- 53% of respondents had never tried groundcherry or goldenberry before
- 82% of respondents indicated they were likely to purchase
- 60% of respondents would like the berries sold to them with the husk on
These are just a few figures from study, the respondents provided a wealth of information that we are still currently analyzing.
How has your harvest been going? We’d love to hear from you!