Craft chocolate is a relatively new and fast-growing segment of the American chocolate market. To understand American premium chocolate consumer perception of craft chocolate and desirable chocolate product attributes, we conducted a mixed-methods study using focus groups and projective mapping. Projective mapping revealed that participants segmented products in terms of quality based upon usage occasion rather than cost or other factors. We found that American premium chocolate consumers use search attributes such as segmentation, price, availability, and packaging as quality determinants. Additionally, they desire credence attributes that convey trust through, for example, the presence or absence of sustainability certifications, or a semblance of meaning. Premium chocolate consumers seek out experience attributes such as utility and/or joy, which are achieved by purchasing a chocolate product as a gift, for its nostalgic purposes, or for desired post-ingestive effects. We propose a Desirable Chocolate Attribute Concept Map to explain our findings.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)