As the global market expands, it is critical that researchers understand how cultural factors influence the expectations and liking for a food product. The objectives of this study were to identify the optimal sweetness level for a sports-drink for consumers originating from different countries and to investigate the factors affecting the optimal sweetness level. In the first study, respondents (n=372) originated from 5 Asian countries and US tasted and evaluated the sports-drink at 4 sweetener levels. Consumers (n=256) from 3 Asian countries and US participated in the second study. Consumers evaluated the concept and sensory expectations for the 'lemon-lime flavored' sports-drink and other beverages. The optimal sweetness level for the sports-drink was lower for Americans than Asians. The familiarity to the product was a key factor affecting the optimal sweetener level. The results also suggested that information can differently influence the product acceptance depending on one's familiarity with the product.
- Consumer acceptance