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Historical document

Consumer research for the papaw industry (FR02044)

Key research provider: Deborah Wilson Consulting Services
Publication date: 2005

This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.

What was it all about?

This report presented findings of consumer research carried out for the papaw industry in 2002.

The aims of the project were to:

  • Provide feedback on current consumer purchasing and consumption patterns for papaws.
  • Identify consumer preferences for product quality attributes for papaws.
  • Identify factors which would encourage consumers to purchase papaws more frequently than they do at present.

Project activities included:

  • Four focus groups with consumers - 2 focus groups of people under 40 years of age (1 in Brisbane and 1 in Sydney) and 2 focus groups of people aged 40 years and over (1 in Brisbane and 1 in Sydney).
  • A face to face survey of consumers covering 452 people -151 in Brisbane and 301 in Sydney.

Focus groups and face to face survey coverage were designed to cover some Asian consumers.

In the face to face survey a quota was set to obtain close to 70 per cent of interviews with people who had eaten papaw in the last 12 months (67.5 per cent of total interviews). The remainder (32.5 per cent) had not eaten papaws in the last 12 months.

Research showed that some consumers were regular users of papaw and eat papaw all year round. These more experienced papaw users were able to choose good quality papaws and were less concerned with markings on the outside of papaws.

Infrequent users of papaws were less confident in knowing how to choose a good papaw and some of these consumers had had variable experiences with quality.

While the One B variety was most popular in Queensland, Sunrise Solo was more commonly purchased in Sydney.

Fewer consumers purchased Red Dioecious with slightly more people in Brisbane purchasing this variety.

While some consumers (28.5 per cent) see papaws as an everyday fruit purchase, others see papaws as an occasional fruit purchase (57.7 per cent) or a luxury or treat purchase (13.8 per cent).

Priorities for consumers included:

  • Availability of good quality papaws.
  • The availability of a range of different varieties from which consumers can choose. This was important in terms of taste as well as the size of papaws.
  • Ensuring that papaws were at a reasonable price level - under$4 per kg or at about $3 per papaw.

Those interested in smaller sized papaws prefered these papaws because of the reduced wastage and the fact that it was the right size for a 1 or 2 person serve.

Consumers believe that the taste of papaws could be improved (49.2 per cent of people who ate papaws in the last 12 months) indicating that quality at time of purchase was an important issue for the industry. However, only a small proportion (7.6 per cent) were dissatisfied with the taste of papaw.

People believed that papaws had many benefits in terms of health benefits, vitamins and the freshness of the taste. For many, the enjoyment of papaws was the main factor which kept them purchasing papaws.

Factors which discouraged consumers from buying papaws included:

  • Price.
  • A lack of availability.
  • Poor quality fruit.

Research results highlighted the importance of providing fruit which was not damaged or bruised.

Consumers in focus groups emphasised the need for information to inform consumers about:

  • How to choose a good papaw.
  • How to tell when a papaw was ripe.
  • Care and handling of papaws.
Related levy funds

0 7341 1021 9

Funding statement:
This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the financial support of Growcom.

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2005. The Final Research Report (in part or as whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation (except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)).