Chinese consumers' freshness perceptions: A case study of orange juices
|dc.identifier.citation||Zhang, T. (2015). Chinese consumers’ freshness perceptions: A case study of orange juices (Thesis, Master of Science). University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/5884||en|
|dc.description.abstract||Ranking sixth in the world for consumption of orange juice, China creates tremendous opportunities for Western beverage manufacturers to develop value-added orange juice products that satisfy Chinese consumers’ needs. Chinese consumers have been shown to place great importance on the attribute “freshness” when buying orange juice products. Freshness is a multidimensional attribute and its perception appears to be affected by a number of sensory and non-sensory characteristics. While the term is well described in the sensory literature, this literature is Western-centric and there is clearly a paucity of data on what Chinese consumers mean when they refer to the word “fresh”. Distinct differences between Chinese and Western consumers in their attitudes towards and perceptions of freshness make entering the Chinese market a challenge for exporters. To successfully develop and market orange juice products in China, it is therefore necessary to understand the definition of, factors contributing to, and the concept of, freshness in the specific context of orange juice consumption from Chinese consumers’ perspectives. Thus, the current thesis aims at identifying important sensory and non-sensory factors contributing to Chinese consumers’ freshness perceptions in orange juice products. It does this by using two sorting exercises, 1) Napping, which is a well-established method in the field of Sensory Science and 2) Q methodology, which is a well-established social science method but not one that has been used to date by sensory scientists to evaluate perceptions of food and beverage products. This unique hybrid research design combining Napping and Q methodology, each with their own inherent strengths, enabled the researchers to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the important attributes underpinning Chinese consumers’ freshness perceptions. Two focus groups were undertaken, where participants (n=19) evaluated freshness of 20 orange juices and their corresponding packages. The qualitative data from these focus groups was combined with the results from a wide-ranging review of existing literature from both academic and non-academic sources. From this, a set of 60 statements was derived with the purpose of representing the whole spectrum of possible viewpoints that Chinese consumers might have about freshness. To obtain a holistic understanding of freshness, these statements were then used for subsequent data collection exercises. The study design included three different scenarios: (1) perceptions of freshness based on the set of text statements about freshness derived from the focus groups and the literature search (i.e. concept evaluation); (2) perceptions of freshness based on actually sampling the orange juices (i.e. juice tasting); and (3) perceptions of freshness based on the characteristics of the orange juice packages (i.e. package evaluation). Chinese consumers residing in New Zealand (n=40) partook in two different sorting exercises, each of which contained the three aforementioned scenarios (concept, juice and packaging evaluation). The concept evaluation results from both methods suggested that perceived freshness was related to an overall notion of healthy and natural. Results derived from juice tasting showed that Chinese consumers defined freshness as a level of closeness to the orange, perceiving orange-like sensory qualities as fresh. Three distinct consumer perspectives were identified, with consumers in each of these perspectives holding homogeneous viewpoints about freshness perceptions, indicating that orange juice freshness varied among consumer segments. In addition, results generated from the package evaluation indicated that the participants’ freshness perceptions were greatly influenced by package claims, shelf life, package transparency, package container type, storage condition and price. Again, three distinct consumer perspectives were identified with regards to freshness based on the packaging. This research has established a valuable and detailed knowledge of the important sensory and non-sensory properties that the study participants most associated with freshness. Thus this research has a number of practical implications that will be of use to food marketers working with the development of orange juice products marketed on this particular attribute (freshness). Furthermore, an evaluation and comparison of the two study methods has resulted in this thesis making a number of significant methodological contributions.|
|dc.publisher||University of Otago|
|dc.rights||All items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.|
|dc.title||Chinese consumers' freshness perceptions: A case study of orange juices|
|thesis.degree.name||Master of Science|
|thesis.degree.grantor||University of Otago|
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