Agricultural and Food Economics (Sep 2021)

Factors behind consumers' choices for healthy fruits: a review of pomegranate and its food derivatives

  • Alice Stiletto,
  • Samuele Trestini

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 9, no. 1
pp. 1 – 27


Read online

Abstract Due to the rising interest in healthy products, superfoods such as pomegranate have begun to spread widely on the international market in recent years. Identification of the consumer choice determinants is a key factor behind the success of innovative products. Nevertheless, to date, there has been no comprehensive analysis of consumers’ preferences for pomegranate. The aim of this study is to understand the characteristics of pomegranate and its derivatives that are most preferred by consumers and to identify the buyers’ profiles by performing a systematic review (SR). The results suggest that there is not equal interest in the literature in all areas of the review. Indeed, most efforts have been made in characterizing the products, whereas consumers’ profiles and their willingness to pay for the various products features have been scarcely investigated. The SR highlights that consumer preference is first correlated with taste and, in particular, with the sweetness (positively) and astringency (negatively) of the product. The red colour and uniform shape of the husk are attractive attributes for consumers, as is the juiciness of the arils. Some innovative methods of product storage, such as intermittent heating (for fruits) and the use of pectin methyl esterase (for arils), guarantee higher consumer acceptability due to the maintenance of product genuineness. Moreover, familiarity with the product seems to be the main driver influencing consumers’ purchase decisions; in addition, people who are more “future oriented” are more willing to pay for pomegranate because of the nutraceutical attributes stressed on the label.