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European consumers' preferences for organic processing technologies: A case study on dried berries in Norway, Romania and Turkey



The organic food market is one of the fastest growing market segments in Europe, which has pushed organic producers to develop products able to meet complex consumer demands. In this context, the adoption of new food technologies could offer food products with new features that can potentially satisfy different consumers’ preferences. To increase the amount of organic products commercially available that meet the requirements of organic food production and consumer expectations, more research and knowledge is needed. Berries have well-known health benefits and show increasing market shares in European markets. This study investigates consumers’ preference for organic dried berries produced using different drying technologies that are able to retain different levels of nutrients. The main goals of this research are: (i) to investigate consumers’ preference and willingness-to-pay (WTP) for organic dried berries produced with two organic processing technologies: the conventional air drying and the more innovative microwave drying; (ii) to relate consumer segments of similar preferences to their attitudes and traits (socio-demographics, health interest, food technology neophobia, and habits and attitudes for organic berries); (iii) to compare three diverging European cultures: Norway, Romania and Turkey. Data from a total of 600 consumers were collected through an online hypothetical choice experiment, using a choice-design with four factors (origin, price, technology and nutrients) in three countries. Choice data were analysed with a Mixed Logit Model. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Partial Least Squares – Discrimination Analysis (PLS-DA) were used to identify and characterize different consumer segments. Results show that consumers’ preferences across the three countries are highly driven by price and national production, while nutrients content is less important. The effect of technology and interaction effects between the conjoint factors differ across countries. This study provides useful information to organic food producers about consumers’ willingness to pay and perception towards organic food technologies.
Nofima AS, P. O. Box 210, Osloveien 1, NO-1433 Ås, Norway, Tel: +47 02140,, - Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research
12th Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium, 20-24 August 2017, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
European consumers' preferences for organic processing
technologies: case study on dried berries
in Norway, Romania and Turkey
Asioli, D.a,b,h, Rocha, C.c,d, Wongprawmas, R.e, Popa, M.f, Gogus, F.g, and Almli, V. L.a
aNOFIMA AS, Ås, Norway; bNorwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway; cUniversity of Porto, Porto, Portugal; d SenseTest Lda., Portugal; eUniversity of Bologna, Italy; fUniversity of Agricultural Sciences and
Veterinary Medicine of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania.; gGaziantep University, Gaziantep, Turkey; h University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, United States.
Microwave drying is a new mild technology that is able
to dry fruit by retaining a larger quantity of nutrients
such as vitamins, minerals and fibers (Chandrasekaran,
Ramanathan, & Basak, 2013). This study investigates
consumers’ acceptance of this new technology in
organic dried strawberries varying in nutrients content,
price and origin.
Fig 1: Example of a choice set used in the discrete choice experiment
(i) To investigate consumer choice for organic dried
berries produced with mild processing technologies
(ii) To study processing preferences in interaction with
price, origin and nutrients content
(iii) To compare three European cultures: Norway,
Romania and Turkey
Choice Experiment with 4 conjoint attributes:
Price: 3 levels; Origin: 2 levels (Europe and Own country);
Technology: 2 levels (Air drying and Microwave drying);
Nutrients: 2 levels (Basic level and More nutrients)
11 choice sets of two product alternatives plus “opt-out
option (D-optimal design in Ngene 1.1.1; D-error: 0.63) (Fig. 1)
Web-survey in Norway Romania and Turkey
N= 200 consumers per country
Data analysis (STATA module mixlogit and The Unscrambler 10.3)
oMixed Logit model with main effects and interactions
oPrincipal Component Analysis (PCA) for visual segmentation
oPartial Least Squares Discriminant Analsyis (PLS-DA) for segment
Consumers on average prefer Low prices, National
Origin and Air drying technology in all countries.
Technology preferences interact with origin in Norway
and Turkey, and with nutritional content in Romania.
Table 1: Choice model results. Estimate indicates mean population effects; STD. DEV. indicates
individual differences. Significance at 5%, 1% and 0.1% are indicated with stars.
Price -0.225*** 0.228*** -0.046*-0.093*** -0.570** -0.100***
Origin 4.061*** 3.021*** 2.918*** 2.284*** 2.638*** 3.117***
Technology -3.537*** 2.723*** -3.722*** 2.990*** -4.208*** 3.518***
Nutrients 0.0330 0.933** 0.051 -0.707** -0.381 -0.363
Price*Origin -0.014 -0.156** -0.057 0.033 -0.015 0.074*
Price*Technology 0.005 0.009 0.048 -0.109 0.042 0.022
Price*Nutrients -0.017 0.039 -0.027 -0.080** -0.007 0.026
Technology*Origin 1.934** 3.744*** -0.561 2.152*** -0.999*-1.255
Technology*Nutrients -0.332 -1.900*** -0.728*0.346 -0.268 -1.293**
Nutrients*Origin 0.145 -1.004 0.634 0.952** 0.860*-0.381
Opt-out (No buy) -5.702*** 6.530*** -3.553*** 2.899*** -4.765*** 3.174***
This study was conducted within the EcoBerries project. Financial support for this project
is provided by funding bodies within the FP7 ERA-Net CORE Organic Plus, and with
cofunds from the European Commission.
Fig 2: Consumer segmentation along PC1 in Romania
Air drying is preferred in all countries (Table 1)
Microwave drying is better accepted in National products
than in products of European origin (Norway, Turkey)
Individual consumer heterogeneity is identified for various
effects (Table 1)
In Romania and Turkey consumers split primarily on
Air/Microwave drying technology (Fig. 2); in Norway
consumers split primarily on Buy/No-buy
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