20 Feb 2022

62% of strawberry consumers are dissatisfied

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In this article, we will analyze the opinions expressed by a sample of consumers (sentiment analysis) following the purchase of strawberries from a number of retailers of large European retailers.

What are the most important characteristics that are considered when buying strawberries? What is the buying experience for each of these characteristics? Overall, does the consumer rate the purchased strawberries positively or negatively ?

This analysis, conducted by NCX Drahorad on data collected in January 2022, aims to provide qualitative and quantitative information to those responsible for the various components of the supply chain, from purchasing to distribution: knowing the consumer is the first step in adapting the offer and increasing consumer satisfaction and, ultimately, profitability for the entire sector.

Number of evaluations expressed717
Number of reviews409
Mapped features14
Feature sentimentPositive, Negative
Summary sentimentsNegative, Positive, Balanced
Survey dateJanuary 2022
National marketsFrance, United Kingdom, Italy
retailersCarrefour, Auchan, Tesco, Sainsbury's
Number of references reviewedCarrefour: 1
Auchan: 7
Tesco: 4
Sainsbury's: 3
Review publication period2018-2021

The characteristics analysed referred to external aspects (appearance, colour), to the characteristics of the fruit (consistency of the pulp, taste), to the health of the product (presence of mould and the related issue of the shelf life of the product). It was also found when consumers mentioned the origin, variety, packaging, price; and when their opinions concerned their regularity of purchase, the impact on health and the end use of the product.

For each of these characteristics the "sentiment", i.e. the positive or negative orientation expressed by the evaluations, was recorded.

OVERALL SENTIMENT

The overall sentiment expressed in the comments of the sample of strawberry buyers was more negative (62%) than positive (30%).

The summary evaluation was defined as 'positive' in case of a prevalence of positive evaluations, 'negative' otherwiseIn the event of a parity between the number of positive and negative evaluations, the review was assessed as 'balanced'.

This means that the majority of consumers describe their experience as negative, while a much smaller proportion describe it as positive.

Only a small proportion of about 7.6% expressed evaluations that balanced negative and positive experiences.

Only in 3 out of 14 characteristics a positive sentiment prevails, the rest are judged negatively.

Below are some comments by way of example.

RANKING OF MOST MENTIONED TOPICS IN REVIEWS

Before analysing all the topics in the consumers' comments, the following table gives details of the topics mentioned and the relative percentage of comments mentioning them.

This will give a clear graphical view of the most important evaluation criteria used by consumers in assessing their purchasing process.

Taste (29.71%) and health and freshness (20.50%) are the topics most frequently mentioned by consumers in the comments.

Shelf life (9.48%), appearance (8.51%), texture (7.67%) and origin are also very important characteristics.

The price is only mentioned in 3% of the comments.

EXTERNAL APPEARANCE

Appearance is one of the most important factors when choosing a product to buy. The consumer expresses both positive and negative evaluations, almost balancing the two opinions, with 49% liking the appearance.

Strawberries are rated positively by consumers for their size.

EXCELLENT STRAWBERRIES - THESE STRAWBERRIES WERE A NICE SIZE, NOT TOO BIG AND VERY GOOD.

A REAL TREAT FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!!! - TASTY AND GOOD-SIZED STRAWBERRIES.

Thenegative opinion of 51% related to the lack of consistency of the product image on the e-commerce site.

NOTHING LIKE THE ILLUSTRATION ON THE PACKAGING! - NOTHING LIKE WHAT IS SHOWN. STRAWBERRIES SHOULD BE RED AND JUICY, NOT HALF WHITE AND HARD!!!!

IT LOOKS NOTHING LIKE THE PICTURE ON THE PACKAGING, UGLY STRAWBERRIES AND ALL DIFFERENT FROM EACH OTHER.

COLOUR

Colour is important to understand if strawberries are ripe, often the main characteristic that makes a consumer want to buy them.

In many cases the consumer found the strawberries unripe or rotten, which meant that most of the reviews in which it is mentioned (78%) are negative.

BLACK!!! - I DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO TASTE THEM, THEY WERE MOSTLY ROTTEN!!!

NOTHING LIKE THOSE SHOWN ON THE PACKAGING - STRAWBERRIES SHOULD BE RED AND JUICY, NOT HALF WHITE AND HARD!!!!

CONSISTENCY

The next characteristic we look at is an important aspect of the fruit's enjoyment: a good strawberry should be firm and sweet, not hard and tasteless.

Comments were predominantly negative about consistency (71%).

THE STRAWBERRIES WERE HARD AND TASTELESS. NOT GOOD, I WOULDN'T BUY THEM AGAIN.

HARD AND TASTELESS - TERRIBLE QUALITY, THE STRAWBERRIES WERE ONLY HALF-RIPE.

TASTE

The taste is appreciated in 60% of the comments mentioning it.

The fruit is described as delicious, flavourful and sweet, tasty and of high quality.

MOST OF THE FRUIT IN THIS SUPERMARKET IS OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY AND THESE STRAWBERRIES ARE NO EXCEPTION. REALLY SWEET, TASTY AND DELICIOUS.

DELICIOUS TASTE. - DELICIOUS TASTE.

VERY TASTY! - ALWAYS GOOD QUALITY WITH A DELICIOUS TASTE!

However, negative comments are also significant (40%), describing the strawberries as hard, watery, unripe, not sweet or juicy and tasteless.

HARD, UNRIPE, NOT SWEET OR JUICY AND NO TASTE - 'SELECTED FOR SWEET AND JUICY TASTE' ACCORDING TO THE DESCRIPTION. IN REALITY THEY HAVE NO TASTE, NO FLAVOUR AND DEFINITELY NOT SWEET. THEY ARE QUITE HARD BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT READY TO BE HARVESTED.

WORST STRAWBERRIES I'VE EVER TASTED. WATERY AND TASTELESS.

HEALTH AND FRESHNESS
Health and freshness are closely linked issues, as a rotten and mouldy product is definitely not fresh and healthyone.

Consumers' opinions were very clear on this issue: in 86% of the cases, the consumer found the strawberries not fresh and with mould .

ROTTEN - IF YOU LIKE MUSHY STRAWBERRIES WITH A BIT OF MOULD, THEN THESE ARE A GREAT BUY. PATHETIC.

THEY WERE NOT FRESH, THEY WERE ALREADY MOULDY WHEN I BOUGHT THEM.

The quality, freshness and taste of strawberries are characteristics often associated with their origin.

Opinions are almost balanced, with negative comments accounting for 57% and positive comments for 43%.

TO BE AVOIDED. - NOT FRESH, NO FLAVOUR. POOR QUALITY SPANISH STRAWBERRIES!

JUNK PRODUCT - IN RECENT WEEKS WE HAVE BOUGHT STRAWBERRIES OF BELGIAN ORIGIN, MOST OF WHICH WERE SOFT AND INEDIBLE.

Despite the negative comments, some buyers were happy with their purchase.

A TASTE OF SUMMER! - WONDERFUL SMELL AND GOOD TASTE. NOTHING COMPARES TO THE TASTE OF AN ENGLISH STRAWBERRY!

ORGANIC FRENCH STRAWBERRIES - REALLY GOOD AND FRAGRANT FRENCH STRAWBERRIES

VARIETY

Sentiment regarding variety is again relatively balanced with 56% positive and 44% negative comments.

Consumers speak highly of the Gariguette variety of strawberry, which I call the best choice of strawberry.

GARIGUETTE - VERY GOOD AND FRAGRANT STRAWBERRIES, THE BEST I HAVE CHOSEN SO FAR.

Those who bought the strawberry charlotte were more dissatisfied, finding the strawberries not very sweet and mouldy.

STRAWBERRY CHARLOTTE - TOO BAD, THE STRAWBERRIES WERE NOT VERY SWEET AND MOULDY.

PACKAGING

No particular opinions are expressed about the packaging, most of them negative 57%

Fresh strawberries, but format maybe too small and not very convenient cit.

7 STRAWBERRIES, NOT EVEN TWO EACH! - 7 STRAWBERRIES, NOTHING ELSE TO ADD.

CONSERVATION

Those who buy strawberries review the storage in a non-positive tone, 87% of the comments mentioning it are negative.

The consumer has often found himself with a product that has gone bad just one day after purchase.

DISAPPOINTING, THE STRAWBERRIES WERE NOT FRESH AND ROTTED THE DAY AFTER PURCHASE. HOPEFULLY THIS WAS AN ISOLATED CASE AND WILL NOT BE REPEATED.

BAD - I BOUGHT THIS PRODUCT ON MONDAY, WHEN I OPENED THE TRAY I THREW EVERYTHING IN THE BIN, HALF THE STRAWBERRIES WERE MOULDY.

PRICE

Theprice is in those comments that talk about the relationship with quality.

The opinion is mainly negative (68%).

TO AVOID - STRAWBERRIES NOT VERY SWEET AND TASTY, POOR QUALITY FOR THE PRICE PAID.

UGLY, TASTELESS STRAWBERRIES - UGLY, TASTELESS, FLOURY STRAWBERRIES. NOT UP TO THE PRICE PAID.

But there is no shortage of positive comments (32%).

STRAWBERRIES AT AN AFFORDABLE PRICE - NOT A VERY STRONG TASTE BUT WITH SUGAR AND LEMON THEY ARE VERY GOOD.

REGULARITY

The regularity of purchase of the product is a key factor in evaluating strawberries, the opinion is predominantly negative (82%).

Customers complain that they don't find the strawberries of the same quality every time they buy them.

UNFORTUNATELY THE STRAWBERRIES ARE OF POOR QUALITY EVERY WEEK AND I HAD TO THROW A COUPLE OF THEM AWAY.

NOT THE GOOD QUALITY I AM USED TO. - I OFTEN BUY STRAWBERRIES FROM THIS SHOP AND THEY ARE USUALLY OF GOOD QUALITY. THESE STRAWBERRIES ARE HARD AND UNRIPE. INEDIBLE!!! 

USE

Use is the feature most appreciated by buyers (75%), it is represented by the way the customer consumes or uses the product.

Consumers recommend using strawberries in cooking or as a side dish.

FRUIT OF THE SEASON! - VERY TASTY, IDEAL TO EAT AS A SIDE DISH!!!

STRAWBERRY FOR COOKING - GOOD FOR COOKING OR ADDING SWEETNESS TO A FRUIT SALAD.

CONCLUSIONS

In conclusion, we have collected enough data in this article to say that consumers buy strawberries mainly for their tastevariety and use.

It is important for the consumer that the product is healthy and fresh, that it is affordable and commensurate with its quality, that it will keep for more than a day and that it is always of quality for those who buy regularly.
It is therefore the duty of the supermarket and the producer to present a product that meets the demands of the consumer, trying not to spoil the characteristics concerning taste, variety and use and improving freshness, health, price and preservation.


Photo: JD Hancock

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