Growing Innovation: Issue 6, May 2, 2016

Consumer study looks to boost pear and summerfruit trade

Consumer research for Australian blush pears and summerfruit undertaken in Indonesia, Thailand and China, will look to generate data and intelligence required to capture export opportunities in high value Asian markets.

The three-year project aims to create new knowledge and strong market insights, and identify innovation opportunities to drive international demand.

In early 2016, initial consumer preference testing took place in Indonesia – a market which provides an enormous opportunity for Australian stonefruit producers. The research intends to understand appeal and preference of peaches, nectarines and plums, including the impact of texture, sweetness and crunch, usage and purchase behaviour, triggers and barriers to purchase, and how to deliver consistent and ideal attributes of the fruit.

The first round of research included 150 Indonesian consumers with new blush pear varieties and existing varieties of stonefruit. The participants tried firm and soft fruit samples, and evaluated the fruits based on taste, appeal, purchase intent, and overall impressions. Participants also identified their preferences for packaging, price, cooking and eating versatility, size, and shape.

Initial results identified sweetness and firmness as preferred traits, with further consumer research to continue into Thailand and China throughout 2016 and into 2017.

The findings from the three key Asian markets will be used to assist pear and summerfruit growers to develop appealing fruit, with an aim to increase demand and create new trade opportunities. The project will implement a number of activities to ensure that producers and value chain participants are actively engaged in the identification of growth and innovation opportunities.

The study sits as a horticulture sub-project under the Market and Consumer Insights to Drive Food Value Chain Innovation and Growth project, being led by The Department of Economic Development Jobs, Transport and Resources as part of funding from the Federal Government’s Rural R&D for Profit program.

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