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COMMUNICATING CIDER QUALITY: A SENSORY-MARKETING MODEL FOR SMALL- AND MEDIUM-SIZED APPLE AND CIDER PRODUCERS IN THE NORTHEAST AND MID-ATLANTIC.

Investigators
Lahne, J.
Institutions
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Start date
2020
End date
2024
Objective
Develop a producer- and consumer-accessible sensory lexicon for American hard ciders produced in Virginia, New York, and Vermont using a mixed-methods approach.Conduct focus groups with cider consumers in Virginia, New York, and Vermont to determine which kinds of information consumers use to make purchase decisions.Conduct interviews with cider producers in Virginia, New York, and Vermont to validate and expand on the conclusions of focus groups (from 1a).Develop a well-defined sensory lexicon using sensory Descriptive Analysis techniques with representative samples of US ciders.Integrate results from 1a/b and 1c to develop a "Cider Wheel" or other sensory-marketing tool that will be accessible to both producers and consumers, and validate the new tool using Check-All-That-Apply (CATA) tests in Virginia.Determine the extent to which the sensory lexicon drives consumer choice, preference, willingness-to-pay, and product satisfaction using a combined experimental economics and sensory-evaluation strategy.Perform an online discrete choice experiment (survey) to determine the stated preference of consumers for various sensory descriptions of cider developed from objective 1.Employ stated preference experiment (survey) in conjunction with sensory evaluation (tasting) to determine effect of sensory lexicon for communicating sensory properties versus experienced taste preferences.Conduct a revealed preference experiment using auction methods to determine actual purchasing behavior of consumers with and without the sensory marketing tools developed in objective 1, and compare results to the outcomes in 2a and 2b.Develop and disseminate a toolset for cider producers in the US to characterize/describe their ciders.Develop and disseminate state-specific extension information to stakeholders and potential consumers to demonstrate the advantages of newly developed cider marketing information. This will also include innovative experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate students to lead the extension efforts.Create improved marketing tools and train apple growers and cidermakers in using the tools to increase market share and profitability. This will include designing instructional material for characterizing ciders so that cidermakers may have a clear path to implement the consumer informed classifications.Engage producers on a national scale through the eXtension apple community and the creation of a new "value-added farm products" community.
Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
VA-2019-05830
Accession number
1022136
Categories
Education and Training
Commodities
Produce