Consumer expectation of flavored water function, sensory quality, and sugar reduction, and the impact of demographic variables and woman consumer segment

Date
2022
Authors
An, Uijeong
Du, Xiaofen
Wang, Wanyi
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
MDPI
Abstract

This study aimed to investigate consumer expectation of flavored water and potential consumer segments. The results showed flavored water was ranked the fourth most popular drink, after plain water, tea, and coffee, by 901 participants. Consumers highly expected functional flavored water with refreshing (87.4% selection), thirst-quenching (73.7%), and tasty (65.7%) qualities, containing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and providing energy. Expected flavored water sensory qualities included temperature (62.4%), flavor (52.4%), and sweet taste (47.4%); lemon, berry, and lime flavors were most preferred, while bitterness, irritation, astringency, and sourness were least preferred. Pure sugar and honey were rated highest as the sweeteners for flavored water. Likewise, consumers were mostly concerned with taste followed by calories. Single demographic variables (age, reported health condition, drinking frequency, educational level) significantly influenced (p ≤ 0.05) flavored water function, sensory quality, and sugar reduction expectations. Females had higher expectation of flavored water’s refreshing and antioxidant functions. Cluster analysis revealed two consumer segments. The younger, low-education, self-reportedly less healthy cluster (mainly college students) expected various functions and flavors such as low temperature, cooling taste, diverse flavors, and sweet taste (and disliked bitterness). The older, educated, employed, self-reportedly healthy cluster had lower expectations of flavored water functions, were less sensitive to bitterness, and preferred no sweetness or little sweetness. These findings provide informative data to establish marketing and sales strategies for promoting flavored water.

Description
Article originally published in Foods, 11(10), 1434. English. Published Online 2022. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11101434
Keywords
Beverage, Soft drink, Sugar reduction, Beverage flavor, Refreshing, Consumer segment
Citation
This is the published version of an article that is available at https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11101434. Recommended citation: An, U., Du, X., Wang, W. (2022). Consumer expectation of flavored water function, sensory quality, and sugar reduction, and the impact of demographic variables and woman consumer segment. Foods, 11(10), 1434. This item has been deposited in with the author’s permission and in the absence of publisher policies.