Göttingen research team examines buying behavior, based on various characteristics

The attractive tomato

The vegetables that are consumed most often in Germany are tomatoes. The supermarkets will offer a variety of different types. However, consumers are often unaware of the differences and may obtain a variety they do really not like. A research team of the University of Göttingen examined the tomato characteristics and the preferences of the consumer. The results have been published in the journal British Food Journal.

Researchers at the Department of Marketing for Food and Agricultural Products at the University of Göttingen have interviewed around 1,000 German consumers. The characteristics of color, size, inner strength, taste, feel, flavor, regionality, label and price were evaluated. Price and color are therefore the most important decision-making features. Although the color variety of tomatoes in supermarkets has risen in recent years, red is undisputedly number one. Green tomatoes, on the other hand, are rejected - presumably because buyers associate this with the tomatoes being unripe. Contrary to the scientists' expectations, the size of the tomato played a minor role. In terms of climate friendliness, study participants rated plastic packaging as the most environmentally harmful, followed by airfreight products, which, however, do not play a major role when it comes to tomatoes.

"Our results show that a target group-specific approach can help to increase the satisfaction of consumers in the choice of tomatoes," says Kristin Jürkenbeck, PhD student and lead author of the study. "The current efforts to reduce plastic packaging are an important step for consumers to perceive the products as more sustainable," says Prof. Dr. med. Achim Spiller, Head of the Marketing Group for Food and Agricultural Products at the University of Göttingen.

For more information:
Kristin Jürkenbeck
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Fakultät für Agrarwissenschaften – Abteilung für Marketing für Lebensmittel und Agrarprodukte
Platz der Göttinger Sieben 5, 37073 Göttingen
Tel: 0551 3026245
E-Mail: kristin.juerkenbeck@uni-goettingen.de 

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