Consumer behaviour towards vegetables: a study on domestic processing of broccoli and carrots by Dutch households
Bongoni et al., JHND Early View
Preferences for sensory properties (e.g. taste and texture) are assumed to control cooking behaviour with respect to vegetables. Conditions such as the cooking method, amount of water used and the time-temperature profile determine the nutritional quality (e.g. vitamins and phytochemicals) of cooked vegetables. Information on domestic processing and any underlying motives can be used to inform consumers about cooking vegetables that are equally liked and are nutrient-rich.
Two online self-reporting questionnaires were used to identify domestic processing conditions of broccoli and carrots by Dutch households. Questions on various aspects of domestic processing and consumer motives were included. Descriptive data analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis were performed for both vegetables, separately, to group consumers with similar motives and behaviour towards vegetables.
Approximately 70% of consumers boiled vegetables, 8–9% steamed vegetables, 10–15% stir fried raw vegetables and 8–10% stir fried boiled vegetables. Mainly texture was used as a way to decide the ‘doneness’ of the vegetables. For both vegetables, three clusters of consumers were identified: texture-orientated, health-orientated, or taste-orientated. The texture-orientated consumers are identified as the most prevalent (56–59%) group in the present study. Statistically significant associations are found between domestic processing conditions and clusters, whereas no such association are found between demographic details and clusters.
A wide variation in domestic processing of broccoli and carrots is found in the present study. Mainly sensory properties (i.e. texture and taste) determined the domestic processing conditions. The findings of the present study can be used to optimise cooking to yield vegetables that meet consumer’s specific sensory preference and are higher in nutrients, and as well as to communicate with target consumer groups.