Consumer Perceptions and Sensory Preferences of Tomato and Tomato Products
The wide variety of cultivars and tomato products and their versatility allow these commodities to be on the weekly shopping list of many consumers. Therefore, it is paramount to understand consumers’ perceptions and preferences in order to improve or develop new products that meet their needs and requirements. In this chapter, the concepts of consumers’ quality perceptions and preferences are introduced, together with the importance of cross-country studies. Results regarding usage and preferences of consumers (Italian/Dutch/Chilean) for tomato products—with a special focus on canned whole peeled tomatoes (CWPT)—are presented, as well as investigations on fresh tomatoes. Results showed that intrinsic attributes were more important than extrinsic attributes when purchasing fresh tomatoes and CWPT. The red colour of CWPT was the most important intrinsic attribute according to the three groups of consumers; the same applies to fresh tomatoes. Interestingly, for Italians the country and domain of origin (Italy+PDO) was almost as relevant as colour. Contrarily, packaging material was the key extrinsic attribute for the Dutch (easy-open tin) and Chileans (glass). All three groups preferred organic products to conventional ones.