Does consumer preference exceed initially indicated wishes? The case of dessert topping



Success of a new food product on the market is strongly related to how good that product is adapted to consumers’ preferences, wishes, expectations and needs. This paper shows the importance of consumer studies including consumer sensory tests for product prototype optimization on the case of an innovative sweet topping made from well-known Slovenian wine Teran. Empirical study was made combining two stages, first the exploratory qualitative research with focus groups and questionnaire and second a test for new food prototype with consumer sensory techniques. The results of the exploratory research were very encouraging and perceived market potential was substantial. However, when more precise and objective research techniques were applied, obtained managerial recommendation critically differ. Application of the consumer sensory tests, namely preference test and JAR (just about right) test, disconfirmed high expectations from the exploratory phase and showed that chocolate flavour is the main driver of liking the topping.


food; new food products; sweet topping; Teran; consumers; sensory testing; preference test; hedonic test; prototype optimization

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