BACKGROUND: This study identified and compared the drivers of liking for fresh pears cross-culturally, using Korean and Chinese panels and consumers. The pear samples consisted of six types of fresh pear varying in flavor and texture qualities. The descriptive panels for the two countries independently derived descriptive terms for the pears. Acceptance testing was also conducted to examine the hedonic levels of fresh pears among Chinese and Korean consumers. Multivariate analysis of variance, using a general linear model (GLM), and multiple-factor analysis were applied to the descriptive data. The consumer test data were analyzed using a GLM, correspondence analysis, and internal preference mapping. RESULTS: The results showed that the overall perceptual configurations of pears developed by the Chinese and Korean panels were similar. The consumer liking for fresh pears and the drivers of liking were also cross-culturally similar. Consumers from both countries liked crisp and juicy Asian pears but they had different perceptions of and liking for the pear with a strong fruity note and soft texture. This observation was supported by the results of the descriptive analysis, which showed that the Chinese panel considered this pear sample to be fruity and have an harmonious flavor, whereas the Korean panel – which was less familiar with the sample – considered its flavor unharmonious. CONCLUSION: Previous cross-cultural studies have often found that food acceptance levels vary markedly with the degree of familiarity with target foodstuffs. However, unlike other food categories, the difference seems relatively small for fruits that are commonly available across cultures.
- descriptive analysis