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Survey Reveals Urban Consumers' Attitudes and Beliefs Regarding the Use of Wax on Apples

Cliff, M.A., Li, J.B., Stanich, K. (2014). Survey Reveals Urban Consumers' Attitudes and Beliefs Regarding the Use of Wax on Apples, 37(1), 29-41. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfq.12065

Abstract

This research explored consumers' awareness, attitudes and beliefs regarding the use of wax on apples, using a survey consisting of five demographic questions, 14 apple wax questions and five apple wax information statements. Consumers responded to queries regarding the use and nature of wax coatings, as well as any health and environmental concerns. They identified their preferred apple treatment (unwaxed, waxed, either) four times throughout the survey, after being presented with information. Consumers' responses were evaluated according to their demographics (age, gender and ethnicity). Statistical analyses (frequency plots, analysis of variance) were used to evaluate data from the two largest ethnic subgroups of consumers (European, Asian) (n=781). On average, consumers lacked knowledge and information about apple waxing. Interestingly, 84% of consumers initially stated they preferred unwaxed apples. While some 40% of consumers changed their preferences once additional information was provided, another 42.3% of consumers did not. Practical Applications: This research successfully documented the attitudes and beliefs of urban consumers toward the use of wax on apples. It suggested some consumers might be more willing to accept waxed apples, if additional information (brochure or leaflet) was available, while others would not. As such, the research provided industry with objective information to assess the appropriateness of their marketing/retailing practices in order to meet the needs of their consumers. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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