Strawberry Taste Test

A blind taste test was conducted on Nov 14, 2013 to explore consumers' preferences toward different sources of strawberries, specifically grocery store bought, industrially grown, strawberries and locally grown, farm raised strawberries.

In order to get the accurate feedback, we hid the real sources of strawberry from participants. Strawberries bought from grocery store were assigned as “Strawberry X”, while strawberries provided by local farm McCraw’s Strawberry Ranch were named as “Strawberry Y”. A sip of clear water was provided to cleanse participants’ palate during tasting different kinds of strawberries.

Each participant filled out a short survey, which was created to compare the difference between these two kinds of strawberries. Nine characteristics were evaluated: color, freshness, size, appearance, smell, firmness, sweetness, juiciness, and overall quality. Consumers were asked to give points to each type of strawberries with respect to each factors mentioned above based on a scale from 1 to 5 points (1 indicates poor, and 5 stands for excellent). We describe 0-0.99 points as poor, 1-1.99 as fair, 2-2.99 as good, 3-3.99 as very good, and 4-5 as excellent. Participants were asked to estimate the price of each product, and make recommendation to their family and friends. At the end of the survey, two demographic factors, gender and age range, were recorded; it is assumed these two factors affect people’s preference.

Fifty-one participants completed the survey, among which 50 surveys were effective. According to these 50 participants, descriptions of the results are as follow. Click here to see summary statistics.
1) The color of grocery store bought strawberries is slightly more attractive than the color of local grown strawberries;
2) The freshness of local strawberries is 11% more than that of grocery store strawberries;
3) With respect to average size, grocery store strawberries are almost 15% larger than local strawberries;
4) The smell of local strawberries is 12% more attractive than the smell of grocery store strawberries;
5) Average value of Sweetness of local strawberries is 13% higher than that of grocery store strawberries;
6) The juiciness of local strawberries is 6% higher than that of grocery store strawberries;
7) The overall quality of local strawberries is about 10% better than that of grocery store strawberries. According to the response scales, local strawberries are rated as “excellent”, while grocery store strawberries are “very good”;
8) People would like to pay $2.90 per pound for local strawberries, which is 33% more than the price of grocery store strawberries
9) 36 people would recommend local strawberries to their family and friends, which is more than double of the number of people who would suggest grocery store strawberries;
10) Another interesting phenomenon from this study shows that if a person recommended grocery store strawberries, this person is male with a probability of 91%.

In conclusion, for appearance and firmness, local grown strawberry and grocery store strawberry have similar appearance and firmness. Local strawberries were judged superior with respect to freshness, smell, sweetness, juiciness, and overall quality than grocery store strawberries. On the other hand, grocery store strawberries were judged to have a more desirable color and size than local grown strawberries. Nearly 3/4 of the participants would recommend local strawberries to their families and friends, while only 22% would recommend grocery store strawberries. Another exciting results for local farmers is that consumers are willing to pay about 1/3 more for local grown strawberries over the grocery store bought varieties.


Strawberry X - Grocery Store Bought       Strawberry Y - Local Grown

Assistants       Strawberry Taste Test


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