Knowledge about different types of tomato consumers and what consumers are looking for when purchasing tomatoes is scarce. This study focuses on fresh market tomatoes and their consumers, with the objective to identify homogenous target groups of tomato consumers. The purchase situation was simulated through a choice-experiment, and the data was analysed using latent class analysis. The sample consisted of 337 consumers from Germany, and the survey was conducted in April and May 2017. Most of the participants (65.2%) were in the age class from 20 to 29 years. Female consumers accounted for 65% of the sample. Based on the results of the latent class analysis, there were three different types of consumers, with a membership probability of 91.3%. For each class, the preferred attributes, the price preferences and the favoured food-related lifestyles were estimated. We identified three different types of tomato consumers, namely price-sensitive, extrinsic-sensitive and intrinsic-sensitive consumers. Each class differently valued the tomato attributes. The presented information helps growers, breeders as well as marketing practitioners to gain insights into the attributes consumers are looking for when purchasing tomatoes.
K. Jürkenbeck, S. Meyerding
European Journal of Horticultural Science