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Title: Characteristics and potentialities of the consumer market for Florida limes
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Title: Characteristics and potentialities of the consumer market for Florida limes
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Creator: Manley, William T.
Publisher: University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Publication Date: 1962
Copyright Date: 1962
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4 64








of the Consumer Market



William T. Manley and
Marshall R. Godwin / I


FEiARY 1962 n- LETIN62

FEBRUARY 1962 -.iLETIN 642


















CONTENTS

Page

INTRODUCTION ---.........- .......................... 3

STUDY OBJECTIVES ....... ............-------- ---------..- ----..... 4

METHOD OF STUDY ..---....-..... .....---.----..---.--.------...... -.............. 4

USE PATTERNS FOR FRESH LIMES AND FROZEN LIMEADE CONCENTRATE...... 8

USE RATES FOR FRESH LIMES AND FROZEN LIMEADE CONCENTRATE........... 12

MANNER IN WHICH FRESH LIMES AND FROZEN LIMEADE

CONCENTRATE ARE USED .-----......................---------. ...- 13

CONSUMERS' OPINIONS ABOUT FRESH LIMES----...............------.. ..... .. 15

PREFERENCES FOR EXTERNAL QUALITY FEATURES IN FRESH LIMES............ 20

RETAIL AVAILABILITY OF FRESH LIMES AND FROZEN

LIMEADE CONCENTRATE ..............------------------.--------- 29

SOME PURCHASING HABITS OF CONSUMERS FOR FRESH LIMES AND
FROZEN LIMEADE CONCENTRATE .----..........-........-----------... 30

AN EXAMINATION OF MARKET POTENTIALS ........ -----........ ----....----.-- 32

SUMMARY .----...- ---------.... ...---- ....... -------------37

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .....-- ...---------------.........-..- ......... 38










CHARACTERISTICS AND POTENTIALITIES OF THE
CONSUMER MARKET FOR FLORIDA LIMES

WILLIAM T. MANLEY and MARSHALL R. GODWIN

INTRODUCTION
Market improvement is a concern common to all individuals
and firms engaged in the production and distribution of food
products. The major difference between industry groups in this
regard is not the desire for a better market, but the diligence
and persistence with which this goal is sought. Producers and
shippers of Florida limes have been conspicuous in their efforts
to improve the market for their product during recent years.
Since 1955 the lime industry in Florida has operated under a
Federal Marketing Agreement Program. Regulations which
growers and shippers have imposed upon themselves under this
program clearly reflect an interest in improving the market
quality of their product. Controls have been initiated to raise
the quality level of limes moving into consumption channels and
to establish a higher degree of uniformity in wholesale packs.
In addition to the marketing agreement program, the industry
has devoted considerable attention and effort to the use of pro-
motional appeals to accomplish an expansion in the market for
Florida limes. Promotional programs have been carried on
within the organizational framework of the Florida Lime and
Avocado Commission established in 1955. Through this agency
substantial sums have been spent to promote the consumption
of limes and lime products.
Success in the development of practices or procedures that
will bring about an improvement in the market for limes, whether
they relate to quality control or to promotional programs, will
depend largely upon a thorough understanding of the frame of
reference within which the marketing of Florida limes takes
place. In a previous report practices and problems of marketing
limes from the retailing standpoint were examined.1 This re-
port deals with an examination of the market for Florida limes
from the standpoint of the consumer. It contains information
about use patterns, opinions and preferences of a sample of con-
sumers in a northern market area of the United States.

1 William T. Manley and Marshall R. Godwin, Retail Distribution and
Merchandising of Fresh Limes and Frozen Limeade Concentrate, Florida
Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 626, September 1960.







4 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

STUDY OBJECTIVES
About three-fourths of the lime crop normally moves into
consumption channels in fresh form. Frozen limeade concen-
trate is most important among the market outlets for processed
limes. Uses, opinions and preferences of consumers with which
this report is concerned consequently relate to both fresh limes
and frozen limeade concentrate. This information was obtained
for a dual purpose. First, it provides a description of the mar-
ket status for these products from the standpoint of the con-
sumer. Second, it furnishes background information needed
to examine alternative approaches to market expansion through
promotion or through changes in the organizational structure
of the Florida lime industry.
The following specific aspects of the consumer market for
the two products were examined: (a) general use patterns in-
cluding familiarity with uses and reasons for infrequent use or
nonuse, (b) manner of use and uses for which limes and frozen
limeade concentrate are preferred more than competing products,
(c) frequency of use, (d) opinions influencing manner and in-
tensity of use, (e) preferences for external quality features in
fresh limes, (f) retail availability and (g) consumer buying
habits.
In relation to the foregoing aspects of market information,
data which would permit an examination of any differences
existing among certain population groups were obtained from
each survey family. The study was designed so that households
could be segregated into distinct groups on the basis of family
income, race, age and educational background of homemaker,
occupational status of head of household and composition of
family.
METHOD OF STUDY
Sampling Procedures.-Information relative to the study ob-
jectives was obtained by the personal interview technique from
2,172 families residing in the Dayton, Ohio, market area. Specific
criteria were established and used in both the selection of the
market area and the selection of respondents within the area.
The geographic area in which the city of Dayton is located
constitutes a large market for Florida fruit and vegetable crops.
It has a population in excess of a quarter million persons with
widely varying incomes and there are sizable groups of wage
earners engaged in a variety of industrial occupations.








The Consumer Market for Florida Limes 5

The sampling method employed in the selection of households
was designed to be representative of families in three distinct
income groups. Selection of individual households within each
group was made on a probability basis. The 1950 Block Census
of Housing for the city of Dayton and contiguous municipalities
was the primary source of information used in the sampling
procedure.2 The census data provide basic descriptive statistics
about the population in terms of city blocks and are summarized
by census tracts.
From the list of tracts for the city of Dayton, the entire
population was stratified by three income areas-high, medium
and low. Requirements for an individual income group were
arbitrarily specified to conform with the basic objective of includ-
ing families of three distinct income classifications. The criteria
used to identify individual income groups were:

Group 1s-Low income: Value of dwelling less than $6,200
or contract monthly rent less than $35.00

Group 2-Medium income: Value of dwelling between $8,500
and $10,500 or contract monthly rent between $45.00
and $50.00

Group 3-High income: Value of dwelling over $12,500 or
contract monthly rent over $50.00.

Those census tracts not meeting the income specifications of the
study were eliminated and thus were no longer considered for
the sample.
Rental and value of dwelling data pertaining to a census tract
are an average of the corresponding figures for all city blocks
within that tract. Consequently, within the selected census tracts
there remained some city blocks which failed to meet the rental
and value of dwelling specifications on which the tract itself

"2 U. S., Bureau of the Census, United States Census of Housing: 1950.
SIntervals were established between minimum and maximum value of
dwelling figures. This procedure aided in the identification of three distinct
income groups by minimizing the overlapping effect of individual households
falling into the improper income group. In determining the census tracts
which met the income specifications established for the study, rent was
used when over 50 percent of the dwellings were rented and value of dwell-
ing was employed when over 50 percent of the dwellings were owner-
occupied.








6 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

was selected. These blocks were also eliminated from the popu-
lation sampled.4
The sampling procedure employed resulted in 2,172 inter-
views distributed among 207 city blocks. These blocks were,
in turn, distributed among 29 census tracts. In 1950, the city
of Dayton and surrounding areas were grouped into a total of
81 census tracts.
Time of Study.-The survey was conducted during the period
September 15 through October 11, 1958. Normally, a large pro-
portion of the fresh lime crop is marketed during the summer
months of June through September. Thus, the study coincided
with the close of the peak marketing season. It was a period in
which consumers would most readily remember using limes and
could recall their impressions and opinions regarding their use.
Composition of Sample.-Information pertaining to occupa-
tion of head of household, family composition, educational back-
ground of homemaker and age of homemaker was obtained by
direct questions to the respondent. Racial composition of the
sample families was obtained from census data. As previously
stated, census data were also employed to classify families into
groups by status of income. In addition, a specific check on
family income was obtained by direct questions to the respondent.5
About 40 percent of the interviews were obtained in the high
income areas of the city. The remaining proportion was approxi-
mately equally distributed between medium and low income
families.
A preponderance of the residents in five census tracts were
nonwhite. About 22 percent of the interviews were obtained
in these tracts. The sample also included one tract in which
neither race was predominant. This single tract, in which 9
percent of the interviews were obtained, was not classified by

Residents in three census tracts outside the city limits of Dayton were
included in the population sampled. The census data do not provide de-
scriptive statistics for outlying census tracts in terms of city blocks. The
information is summarized only by census tracts. Therefore, no city
blocks were eliminated from consideration in the three census tracts out-
side the city limits.
5 A high degree of association existed between the family income informa-
tion obtained by questions to the respondent and that obtained from the cen-
sus data. In most cases, for example, families interviewed in designated high
income areas reported larger incomes than families in designated medium
and low income areas. Because of the consistency between the census
classifications and the responses obtained to direct questions regarding
income, the analysis of the effect of differences in family income on the
uses of limes is presented on the basis of the census data classifications.








The Consumer Market for Florida Limes 7

race and did not enter into the analysis when race was considered.
Residents in the remaining census tracts were classified as white
and accounted for 69 percent of the total interviews.
About 41 percent of the homemakers interviewed reported
their age to be between 35 and 50 years, compared to 26 percent
below 35 and 33 percent over 50 years of age.
Professional, managerial and sales workers accounted for 30
percent of the sample. About 9 percent of the heads of house-
holds had occupations as service workers and laborers. A de-
tailed description of the sample distribution with respect to
occupational classification is given in Table 1.

TABLE 1.-OCCUPATIONAL STATUS OF HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD.

Occupational Classification Number Percent

Professional, technical and kindred workers ............. 318 14.7
Managers, officials and proprietors -----.. --.....---.....-- 205 9.4
Clerical and kindred workers ......--.......---- ....... .. -121 5.6
Sales workers ..................... .. .....---------- -....... ...... 128 5.9
Craftsmen, foremen and kindred workers ................ 392 18.1
Operatives and kindred workers ..................-............. 170 7.8
Service workers, including private household .......... 170 7.8
Laborers, except farm and mine --...---..----..................--22 1.0
Social security and other public welfare .--------.................----. 20 0.9
Retired ...................--.. ----..--................ ..... .......- 172 7.9
Unemployed ...--...--... --............--- ..--- .......... 8 0.4
Not ascertained ---.........-----.....-------....--- ------...--- -.. 446 20.5

Total .......... .....--- .....----- ................-.... 2172 100.0


About one-fifth of the homemakers had attended or com-
pleted grammar school only. The largest proportion, 53 percent,
had either attended or completed high school. An additional 14
percent had attended or completed college.
The largest proportion of families, 45 percent, consisted of
adults only. About 21 percent of the families had children 7
to 18 years of age, compared to 17 percent with children below
7 years of age. The remaining 17 percent had children of both
age classifications.







8 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

USE PATTERNS FOR FRESH LIMES AND FROZEN
LIMEADE CONCENTRATE
Knowledge concerning the extent of product acceptance is
basic to decisions regarding the approach to be taken in adver-
tising and merchandising activities for Florida limes and lime
products. It is likely that efforts toward market expansion
through promotional activity will develop either as an approach
designed to acquaint consumers with limes and lime products
or as an approach designed to increase existing use rates. The
extent to which fresh limes and frozen concentrated limeade
have gained consumer acceptance was measured in this study
by the following classifications: (a) those totally unfamiliar with
the products, (b) those familiar with them but who were non-
users, (c) those who had used the products but not in the home,
(d) infrequent users and (e) frequent users.
General Use Patterns.-Families included in the survey were
more familiar with fresh limes than they were with frozen lime-
ade concentrate. Only 12 percent of the homemakers were totally
unfamiliar with fresh limes, as compared to one-half who were
unfamiliar with frozen limeade concentrate. About 28 percent
of the families had used fresh limes in the home during the past
year as compared to 24 percent that had used limeade concen-
trate during this same period of time. Hence, incidence of use
in the home during the year preceding the interview was some-
what higher for fresh limes than for the frozen product. How-
ever, incidence of use is considerably different among only those
familiar with each of the products. From this standpoint, frozen
limeade concentrate was more widely used than were fresh limes.
Among the homemakers familiar with the frozen product, almost
half had used it during the past year, while less than a third
of those familiar with fresh limes had used them in the past
year (Table 2).
Apparently, fresh limes and frozen limeade concentrate are,
to some degree, complementary products. Families who used
limes tended to use them in both the fresh and the processed
form. Of the total number that had served limeade concentrate
in the home during the past year, 55 percent had also used fresh
limes during the same period of time. Further, about half of
those who had purchased fresh limes for home consumption had
also used the frozen product.








The Consumer Market for Florida Limes 9

TABLE 2.-HOMEMAKERS' LEVEL OF FAMILIARITY WITH AND EXTENT OF USE
OF FRESH LIMES AND FROZEN LIMEADE CONCENTRATE.

Level of Familiarity Fresh Limes Frozen Limeade
and Use L Concentrate
Number I Percent Number Percent
No knowledge ................-....... 257 11.8 1085 50.0
Knowledge of, but no use
experience ......................... 566 26.1 399 18.4
Use experience but not
in home .............- ............ 303 13.9 68 3.1
Served in home but not in
past year ........................... 440 20.3 102 4.7
Served in home in past year 606 27.9 518 23.8

Total ..................... --....... 2172 100.0 2172 100.0



Differences in Familiarity and Use Among Population Groups.
Use of both products was more characteristic of high income
families than of medium or low income families (Table 3). About
15 percent of the families in the low income group had used
fresh limes or frozen limeade concentrate in the home during
the past year. In the high income group, one-third had used
the frozen product and 43 percent had used fresh limes during
the past year. Most of those unfamiliar with fresh limes were
in the low income group.
Although familiarity with and use of frozen limeade concen-
trate increased with higher incomes, it can be seen from Table 3
that a lack of knowledge of the product was widespread among
all income groups.
The study revealed that familiarity with and use of fresh limes
and frozen limeade was more prevalent among white families
than among nonwhite families. About one-third of the white
families had used one or both of the products during the past
year, compared to about 14 percent of the nonwhite families.
Practically all families that were completely unfamiliar with
limes were nonwhite. For limeade concentrate, 42 percent of
the white homemakers and 74 percent of the nonwhite home-
makers were unfamiliar with the product.








10 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

TABLE 3.-RELATION BETWEEN THE HOMEMAKERS' KNOWLEDGE AND USE OF
FRESH LIMES AND FROZEN LIMEADE CONCENTRATE AND INCOME, STATUS.

Income Group

Knowledge and Low Medium I High
Use Status Lime- ( Lime- I Lime-
Fresh ade Fresh ade I Fresh ade
Limes Concen- Limes Concen- Limes Concen-
Strate trate I trate
Pet. Pet. Pet. Pet. Pet. Pet.
No knowledge ........ 34.1 70.3 2.8 48.6 2.3 35.9
Knowledge of, but
no use experi-
ence .......-............. 27.7 10.3 37.0 22.4 16.3 21.2
Use experience
but not in home 11.8 2.0 12.2 3.0 17.0 4.1
Served in home but
not in past year.. 12.2 2.7 26.2 5.5 21.6 5.6
Served in home
in past year ..... 14.2 14.7 21.8 20.5 42.8 33.2

Total ..--.--.... 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 1 00.0 100.0


Families in which the homemaker had a relatively high educa-
tional background were more likely to have used both products
than those of low educational levels. More extensive use was
also found among families in which the occupation of head of
household was of a professional or managerial nature.
Presence or absence of children in the family did not affect,
to any appreciable extent, familiarity with and use of fresh
limes. However, families with children were more likely to have
used frozen concentrate during the past year than were families
with adults only. About one-third of the families with children
under 18 years of age reported use of frozen concentrate during
the past year, as compared to only 18 .percent of the families
with adults only.
With one exception, familiarity with and use of fresh limes
and frozen limeade concentrate did not vary appreciably among
homemakers of different age groups. The single exception per-
tains to the fact that homemakers over 50 years of age used
limeade concentrate less than those in younger age groups.
Knowledge of Uses for Fresh Limes on the Part of Non-
users.-Out of the 2,172 families interviewed, there were 566








The Consumer Market for Florida Limes 11

that were familiar with fresh limes but had no use experience
with them either in the home or outside the home. Two-thirds
of this group were completely unfamiliar with the uses for fresh
limes. Of the one-third familiar with uses for fresh limes, the
largest proportion, 38 percent, mentioned limeade as the major
use for this fruit. An additional 22 percent mentioned various
other beverage-type drinks. Twelve percent thought the major
use of this product was in the preparation of alcoholic drinks.
Negligible numbers in this group mentioned pies and sherbets,
or uses related to serving tea or sea foods, even though these
are comparatively common uses of fresh limes.
Use of Fresh Limes and Limeade Concentrate Outside the
Home.-Those homemakers who had not purchased fresh limes
for home consumption but had had use experience with them
outside the home accounted for 14 percent of the total sample.
For limeade concentrate, only 3 percent of the homemakers had
used the product other than in the home. Places where fresh
limes had been served consisted mostly of restaurants, other
public eating establishments and the homes of friends or relatives.
Fresh limes had been served in a wider variety of ways than
had limeade concentrate. However, the principal use experience
for both products had been as limeade or other soft drinks or
as a mixer in alcoholic beverages.
Reasons for Nonuse of Fresh Limes and Frozen Limeade
Concentrate.-About 1 out of 5 families had served limes at
home at some time but not during the year preceding the inter-
view. For limeade concentrate, this was true in about 5 percent
of the cases. Among those respondents and those who had use
experience with the products only outside the home, a wide
variety of reasons was advanced for not serving either fresh
limes or frozen concentrate in the home. In a substantial num-
ber of cases, it simply did not occur to the homemaker to pur-
chase either of the products. The fact that the family did not
like the taste of limes or the belief that the family would not
like the taste were also important factors. Considerations per-
taining to cost or to the market availability of the products were
given as reasons for nonuse by a relatively small proportion of
respondents.








12 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

USE RATES FOR FRESH LIMES AND FROZEN
LIMEADE CONCENTRATE
Information concerning the intensity with which limes and
limeade concentrate are used is relevant to determining the mar-
ket potential among that segment of the population which knows
about and uses these products. It allows an examination of
whether those who presently use limes and limeade concentrate
are mostly frequent or mostly infrequent users and the reasons
associated with varying use rates.
Questions pertaining to frequency of use were asked of only
those families who had used one or both of the products during
the year preceding the interview. Of the 2,172 households
visited, 28 percent had used fresh limes and 24 percent had used
limeade concentrate during the summer months of 1958.
The rate at which fresh limes and limeade concentrate had
been used was about the same. However, both products were
used on a relatively infrequent basis. Among the users of each
product, only 19 percent reported use on the basis of once a
week or more often. About 18 percent of the homemakers had
used fresh limes and 23 percent had used frozen limeade con-
centrate only once or twice during the summer months preceding
the interview (Table 4).
Although familiarity with and use of both products varied
significantly among population groups, little variation was found
among segments of the population with respect to the rate at
which fresh limes and frozen concentrate had been consumed
during the summer of 1958.
Homemakers who had used the products less frequently than
once a month were questioned in an effort to ascertain the major
reasons for infrequent use. A major contributing factor to the
infrequent use of both products was a dislike for the lime taste
on the part of some family member. Also, in a substantial num-
ber of cases the homemakers stated a preference for a substitute
food. About 8 percent stated a preference for fresh lemons and
7 percent preferred processed lime products to fresh limes. On
the other hand, 12 percent preferred frozen lemonade or other
frozen fruit juices to frozen limeade concentrate. Ten percent
of the homemakers served frozen limeade infrequently as a re-
sult of a preference for fresh limes.








The Consumer Market for Florida Limes 13

TABLE 4.-RATE AT WHICH FRESH LIMES AND FROZEN LIMEADE CONCEN-
TRATE WERE USED DURING THE SUMMER PRECEDING THE INTERVIEW.

Rate of Use Fresh Limes Limeade Concentrate

Number Percent Number Percent
Once a week or more
often .......................... -115 19.0 99 19.1
2 3 times a month ...... 103 17.0 103 19.9
Once a month ................ 110 18.1 73 14.1
1- 2 times during past
summer ....................... 112 18.5 118 22.8
3- 4 times during past
summer ....................... 41 6.8 35 6.7
5- 7 times during past
summer ....................... - 1 0.2
Used but do not know
how often .............. 50 8.2 56 10.8
Not served in past
summer ..........-------.... 75 12.4 30 5.8
Not ascertained ......- 3 0.6

Total ........................ 606 100.0 518 100.0


MANNER IN WHICH FRESH LIMES AND FROZEN
LIMEADE CONCENTRATE ARE USED

Families that had used either or both of the products during
the preceding year were questioned about the manner of use
for each product. This information, along with that concerning
opinions about and preferences for the product, is relevant to
an evaluation of the existing use patterns for these products.
Knowledge of those factors contributing to infrequent use or
nonuse will aid in the location of specific areas in which emphasis
in future promotional programs will be most productive.
The most frequently mentioned use for both products was
in the preparation of limeade drinks. This was a more important
use, however, for frozen concentrate than for fresh limes. While
the principal uses for both products related to beverages of vari-
ous types, fresh limes were used in a somewhat wider variety
of ways than the frozen product. Almost one-half of the re-








14 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

spondents indicated they used fresh limes other than in drinks.
The frozen product was used in forms other than as a beverage
in only 10 percent of the households. In over 40 percent of the
households, fresh limes were used in alcoholic drinks, whereas
only 17 percent mentioned alcoholic drinks as a use for the frozen
product (Table 5).

TABLE 5.-MANNER IN WHICH FRESH LIMES AND FROZEN LIMEADE
CONCENTRATE ARE USED.

Manner of Use Fresh Limes Limeade
S Concentrate
Number Percent* Number Percent*
Limeade ......................-......... ..... -271 44.7 302 58.3
Soft drinks with lime flavor ...... 3 0.5 2 0.4
Alcoholic drinks ....................-.... 247 40.8 88 17.0
Drinks (unspecified) .........---.---. 105 17.3 132 25.5
Tea .....---.......... -.....- ..-- ..--- .... 48 7.9 2 0.4
Juice ---............--........--- ..-- ..... 10 1.7 7 1.3
Fruit drinks, punch ...................... 102 16.8 81 15.6
Lime cooler ....----............ ---............. 1 0.2 -
Sherbet, frozen desserts .......-... 12 2.0 6 1.2
Desserts (unspecified) ............. 8 1.3 6 1.2
Gelatins ....-- ............---..-... -- ... 13 2.1 3 0.6
Key lime pie ..-..--..-......-- ......-- .. 7 1.2 -
Pie (unspecified) ...............--- ....... 109 18.0 9 1.7
Candy, cakes, cookies ........-....-. 4 0.7 2 0.4
Sauces ............................. ......... 6 1.0 -
Puddings ....................................-.. 2 0.3 1 0.2
Cooking and baking (unspecified) 3 0.5 1 0.2
As a garnish ..---..............-----........ 20 3.3 2 0.4
Jelly .....-................... .....--... ..... 2 0.3 -
Soups --...............-.. --... --. ....... -2 0.3 -
Salad dressing ..........-............. --.. 24 4.0 3 0.6
Fish or other sea food ....-------- 14 2.3 -
W ith fresh fruits ................-....... 14 2.3 1 0.2
With fresh vegetables .........-.... 5 0.8 -
Salads (unspecified) ............---...... 15 2.4 1 0.2
Flavoring (unspecified) ............. 8 1.3 3 0.6
W ith lamb .................................-.. 1 0.2 -
Meats (unspecified) .....-----..........--.. 2 0.3 -
For decorative purposes ......-.... 6 1.0 -
Plain, as is ......---.............---- ..---........ 5 0.8 12 2.3
Medicinal purposes .....--..---.....-- 4 0.7 -
Not ascertained ----.............. ----......... 5 1.0


Number of respondents ........---- 606 518 -

Percentages total more than 100 since homemakers mentioned more than one use.

Neither of the products was used very extensively at meal-
time. Fifty-seven percent of the homemakers who had used
fresh limes and 51 percent of those who had used frozen limeade





The Consumer Market for Florida Limes 15

served the products exclusively at times other than at meals.
About one-third of the respondents reported use of frozen con-
centrate both at meals and at other times during the day as com-
pared to 20 percent who had served fresh limes both at meals
and at other times. Thus, only a small proportion served the
products exclusively at mealtimes.
A sizable proportion of homemakers restricted the use of
fresh limes and frozen concentrate to special occasions. Fresh
limes were served on special occasions by over half the home-
makers, whereas this was true for about a third of the users of
the frozen product. Holidays and party gatherings were men-
tioned most frequently as special occasions on which both prod-
ucts were served.
Among those homemakers who had purchased fresh limes
during the preceding year, 40 percent indicated they preferred
fresh limes to fresh lemons for certain uses. Limes were re-
garded as far superior to lemons in the preparation of alcoholic
drinks. They were also preferred over lemons for use in des-
serts, particularly in pies. Considerations of taste were the
major reasons that fresh limes were preferred over fresh lemons
for these uses. In comparison, only 1 out of 5 homemakers pre-
ferred limeade concentrate over lemonade concentrate for par-
ticular uses. Of those preferring limeade concentrate, 31 percent
mentioned alcoholic drinks and 48 percent mentioned other
beverage-type drinks as uses for which the product was prefer-
red. Again, better taste was mentioned most frequently as a
reason for preferring frozen limeade concentrate over the com-
parable frozen lemon product.
More than half of those respondents who had used both fresh
limes and frozen limeade concentrate in the home stated a prefer-
ence for the frozen product for certain uses. Convenience in
the preparation of various drinks was the underlying reason
behind this preference. Very few indicated a preference for the
frozen product because of its superior taste.

CONSUMERS' OPINIONS ABOUT FRESH LIMES
To complete the examination of the factors contributing to
nonuse and infrequent use of limes, information was obtained
concerning the homemakers' opinions about and preferences for
the fruit, Homemakers were asked opinion-type questions de-
signed to determine (a) the reasons for using fresh limes, (b)
the importance of impulse buying, (c) the importance of quality






16 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

in buying decisions and (d) the influence of particular family
members on use.
More than two-thirds of the homemakers mentioned taste
and flavor as the major reasons for purchasing fresh limes.
This opinion was expressed in a variety of ways such as distinc-
tive taste, refreshing and fresh flavor. About 6 percent used
fresh limes because they provided a change or variety in existing
diets (Table 6). Significantly, very few homemakers purchased
fresh limes because they regarded them as a good food buy.
Nutritional or other health considerations also were unimportant
as reasons for purchasing this product.

TABLE 6.-REASONs GIVEN BY HOMEMAKERS FOR USING FRESH LIMES.

Reason Number Percent


Taste, flavor ....................................................... 142 23.4
Sour, acid, sharp, tangy ........................--....... .. 101 16.7
Distinctive taste ................-...... ............... ..... 10 100 16.5
Refreshing, thirst quenching ..............---................- 72 11.9
For variety ............ ................. .. .....------ ........ 35 5.8
Good for decorative purposes ....--- ---............- . -- 27 4.5
Flavor blends well with other drinks .................... 20 3.3
Fresh flavor ...................................-- ....--- ......... 13 2.1
Recipe calls for them ............... .------------....... 12 2.0
Brings out flavor in other foods ..------....................--- 8 1.3
Good for health ...........-- ........... ...... .... ............... 8 1.3
For special occasions .....................-- ....... ....---....--. 8 1.3
Adds zest to drinks --....................... ....--.............. 4 0.6
Vitamins (unspecified) ...-....-.........---.. .............-- 4 0.6
Vitam in C .................................. .......----. .............. 4 0.6
Started serving food or drinks in which
lim es are used .......-...-..--........ ............ ...3 0.5
Sour-sweet, bittersweet ...-------.......... .... ....--.. -- ... 2 0.3
Bitter ..............................-----------..... ..... .... 1 0.2
Nonfattening, good for diet ....-....... .................... 1 0.2
Stimulates appetite ................-.. ........ ........ ..---- 1 0.2
Medicinal purposes .............. .......------------.. -. 1 0.2
Invigorating ........ .............. ........... ........ ---- 1 0.2
Inexpensive ................ ............................. ..... ..... 1 0.2
Other .................... -----................-... ......... ....... 5 0.8
Do not know ..---......--..................-- .......-------...-- 20 3.3
Not ascertained ------.---........................ -------12 2.0


Total .. ................. .....----.................. .. 606 100.0


Apparently, impulse buying is rather important in decisions
to purchase fresh limes. One-half of the homemakers indicated
they had purchased limes when they had not thought about buy-
ing them before they went to the food store. Impulse buying








The Consumer Market for Florida Limes 17

of limes appears closely related to their external appearance.
The single most important reason given for unanticipated pur-
chases was that the limes available had a good external appear-
ance. Twenty-one percent purchased them because the display
reminded the respondent of a use for fresh limes (Table 7).
A third of the users indicated there had been times in the
past when they intended to purchase limes but, after examining
them at the food store, decided not to buy. In practically all
cases the homemaker did not purchase those available because
the fruit was of poor quality. The available limes were rejected
by customers largely on the basis of deterioration due to post-
harvest age or care of the product. More than 50 percent of
the reasons for not buying could be traced to such conditions.
Generally poor external appearance served to discourage 17
percent of the prospective customers. Smallness of the limes
available was also an important reason for not buying. Few
failed to buy limes because they were priced too high (Table 8).
Clearly, external appearance of fresh limes has a material in-
fluence on the buying decision of the homemaker.

TABLE 7.-REASONS GIVEN BY HOMEMAKER FOR UNANTICIPATED
BUYING OF FRESH LIMES.

Reason Number I Percent

Good external appearance .... ....... ................... 107 35.3
Reminded respondent of a use for fresh limes ... 64 21.1
Reminded respondent she liked them .................- 47 15.5
To add variety to menu ...................--........-----...... 22 7.2
For a change (unspecified) ......---.......--.------..-..-.-- 17 5.6
Limes were available ........................... ................ 16 5.3
Price factor --...... .--..-------............-..... ........ .... 12 4.0
Respondent remembered a member of the
fam ily liked them ......... ---...........- -.......... 5 1.6
A attractive display ................ ............ ------.....-3 1.0
Curiosity, likes to try new foods ............................ 3 1.0
H ad not served recently ................................... 2 0.7
Wanted them for decorative purposes .---....--------.. 1 0.3
Do not know ..........-- ......... ---..... --------.......... 2 0.7
Not ascertained .....-----------.. ... --- -------------....... 2 0.7

Total ------- -.. -... ---......... -------- ------ .. 303 100.0


A further indication of the importance of external appear-
ance in buying decisions is provided by responses to an inquiry
concerning characteristics considered by homemakers when pur-








18 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

chasing fresh limes. Color and firmness were the leading char-
acteristics by which the homemaker judged quality in fresh
limes. Green or dark green was mentioned most frequently as
the preferred color., Skin texture was of major importance to
13 percent, while size was the major consideration to 6 percent
(Table 9).

TABLE 8.-REASONS GIVEN BY HOMEMAKERS FOR DECIDING NOT TO BUY
FRESH LIMES FOUND ON MARKET.

Reason Number Percent

Shriveled ........... .. ......... .......... ................... 66 33.0
Poor external appearance ..................----. ..-..--.----.. 34 17.0
Small ----.---................--........-.. ------- 20 I 10.0
Old (unspecified) ............. ..... -.....----....--- ....... 18 9.0
W ere not fresh ......---........... ........ ................. 14 7.0
Yellow ............-.. ----- .......-.. --.. --- ... ....----13 6.5
Price factor .......-.. --........-- -- ........-.........--- 12 6.0
No lim es were available .----................-------------.........-------.......... 10 5.0
Hard .---.. ----..... -- -------.................... ......... 5 2.5
Black spots ...................... .--------... .. ....----- 5 2.5
Too ripe ..........--- ..----------- ..........---- ...... 2 1.0
Other .........-.. . .......... .... ...............--..- 1 0.5

Total ...--....----- --..--....... ...........------- 200 100.0


In order to establish the attitude of consumers about present
use rates and to determine the influence of particular family
members on use, homemakers were asked whether any family
member would like to have fresh limes and limeade concentrate
served in the home more frequently. Among the users of each
product, less than 13 percent of the homemakers indicated that
they or some member of the family would like to have fresh
limes or frozen concentrate more often than they were custo-
marily served. In the case of fresh limes, the husband was
mentioned most often as a family member who would like them
served more frequently. The children were mentioned most
frequently as members who would like frozen limeade concen-
trate served more often.

Consumers contradicted themselves on this point when allowed to
visually select a preferred color (see page 25).









The Consumer Market for Florida Limes 19

TABLE 9.-EXTERNAL CHARACTERISTICS CONSIDERED IN PURCHASING
FRESH LIMES.


Characteristics Number Percent


Color
Color (unspecified) .............................. 52 8.6
Dark green .-....-.....-- .....-- ....-........... 20 3.3
Light green .-......-.........---- ....- ............ .. 3 0.5
Bright rich green --.... -----........-... ......------. 10 1.6
Medium green ..-.................-....... ........... 6 1.0
Yellow green ................-................. 1 0.2
Solid color ...-- ..-..----....- -- ...-...- ...-------- 1 0.2
Green (unspecified) ..............-.................-.. 51 8.4 _

144 _23.8


Sm all ..--..............-....----- .. ......-...-...-.. 1 0.2
M edium ..... .--.... --..............- .... ........... 5 0.8
Large ...........-........- ......-.......... 33 __ 5.4

39 6.4

Skin texture
Smooth, even-skinned ...-----......-.......-- -... 32 5.3
Thin-skinned .....-..------.... ..-- .............. 46 7.6

78 12.9

Firmness
Firm, without soft spots .--....-................ 123 20.3
Firm, without brown spots ...................... 55 9.1

178 29.4

Other
Ripeness -..... --..... ..-- ..- .....-..-.....-... 9 1.5
Juiciness ...-...--.......---...--- ......... ...... 10 1.6
Price ..............-- ..---- ....................... 4 0.7
W eight ...... ----... ---............... ....... --... 8 1.3
Shape .......-......--....- .. .- .....--...-- ..-.... 8 1.3
Fresh .------... --.....-- ..----.. ........--- ................ 43 7.1
External appearance (unspecified) ....... 7 1.1

89 14.6

Do not know --... -.....----------------................-- ... 58 9.6


Not ascertained ...............---- ............ ........ 20 3.3


Total --..... --... ..-.. --... -- ..-- ....---......-- ... 606 100.0
____ ___ ____ _________ __J___ ____ I __ __ I__ _







20 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

PREFERENCES FOR EXTERNAL QUALITY FEATURES
IN FRESH LIMES
External quality characteristics account for a substantial
share of the factors entering into the determination of the grades
of fresh limes. Moreover, both the deliberations and the actions
taken to the end of market improvement during recent seasons
suggest a preoccupation with external aspects of quality on the
part of industry groups. In view of these circumstances, an
examination of the importance which consumers attach to ex-
ternal quality characteristics for fresh limes was regarded as
an appropriate part of this study.
Preferences of homemakers were examined for four physical
attributes generally regarded as important in determining the
quality of fresh limes. These were size, skin color, skin blemish
and shriveling and discoloration. For these four attributes,
homemakers were shown life-size color photographs of three
limes depicting three basic variations of each attribute in ques-
tion. They were asked to make a first and a second choice from
among the three limes shown to them.7 Questions regarding
preferences were framed so as to obtain from the respondents
the relative desirability of the three limes abstracted from the
influence of price or other factors.
For each of the four attributes under consideration, prefer-
ences were obtained from all homemakers who were to any de-
gree familiar with fresh limes. Because knowledge of the prod-
uct ranged from homemakers having no use experience to those
having frequent and recent use experience, responses obtained
regarding the comparative desirability of various external quality
characteristics were divided into two groups. These were (a)
preferences of homemakers who knew about limes but had very
limited or no use experience with them and (b) preferences of
homemakers who had use experience with the product in the
home. Hereafter, these two groups will be referred to as non-
users and users, respectively. Such a division of the responses
was regarded as appropriate in order to examine the extent to
which use experience with the product influenced the selection
of a particular characteristic as most desirable.
Figure 1 was employed to establish homemakers' preferences
for skin color in fresh limes. For both use groups, it was found
that the light green was the most preferred color (Table 10).

'The unselected lime was regarded as the third choice of the respondents.




































A B C

Figure 1.-Fruit used to determine consumer preferences for skin color in fresh limes.






































A B C
Figure 2.-Fruit used to determine consumer preferences for sizes of fresh limes.






































A B C
Figure 3.-Fruit used to determine consumer reactions to fresh limes with varying amounts of external blemish.



































A B C
Figure 4.-Fruit used to determine consumer reactions to fresh limes with varying symptoms of excessive shelf life.








The Consumer Market for Florida Limes 25

Dark green was the second preferred color characteristic, while
yellow limes were the least preferred.8

TABLE 10.-PREFERENCES OF HOMEMAKERS FOR EXTERNAL COLOR IN FRESH
LIMES (Based on Figure 1).
Sl 1 No Not
IA-Dark B-Light C Prefer- Ascer- Number
Preference Green Green Yellow ence trained of Re-
P P ] \I spondents
SPercent Percent I Percent I Percent Percent Pecn
Nonusers

First choice 18.8 29.0 17.0 30.5 4.7 869
Second choice 15.0 30.4 14.8 35.1 4.7 869
Third choice 27.8 2.9 29.5 35.1 4.7 869

Users

First choice 27.4 46.0 15.9 8.8 1.9 1046
Second choice 21.2 36.9 23.9 16.1 1.9 1046
Third choice 34.7 3.3 44.0 16.1 1.9 1046


While there were no basic differences in the preferences for
color in limes between homemakers classified as users and those
classified as nonusers, it is apparent from Table 10 that a much
larger proportion of the users had definite opinions regarding
color than was the case for those with little or no use experience.
About one-third of the nonusers were indifferent to color vari-
ations within the range considered in the study, while such in-
difference was indicated by only 8 percent of those homemakers
who had used limes in the home.
To establish preferences for size in limes, homemakers were
shown Figure 2. The limes shown are sizes 175, 250 and 325
and are representative of large, medium and small limes within
the total range of sizes marketed.

"8A comparison of results obtained through the use of visual techniques
(Figure 1 and Table 10) and through questioning procedures (Table 9)
reveals apparent contradictions in the opinions of homemakers regarding
color. Actually, the differences in responses regarding color illustrate
the difficulties and the hazards of arriving at preferences for a visual at-
tribute of a product through the use of questioning procedures alone.
Further evidence of this is provided by the responses obtained to visual
depictions of size (Figure 2 and Table 11) as compared to the responses
given in Table 9.







26 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

Considering first choices only, homemakers failed to have a
strong preference for limes of a particular size (Table 11).

TABLE 11.-PREFERENCES OF HOMEMAKERS FOR SIZE OF FRESH LIMES
(Based on Figure 2).
A- B- C-
Large Medium Small No Not
(Size (Size (Size Prefer- Ascer- Number
Preference 175) 250) 325) ence trained of Re-
spondents
Percent Percent Percent Percent Percent |
Nonusers

First choice 22.9 24.9 14.8 32.7 4.7 869
Second choice 9.8 33.0 15.2 37.3 4.7 869
Third choice 26.7 2.9 28.4 37.3 4.7 869

Users

First choice 27.7 37.8 21.0 11.7 1.8 1046
Second choice 16.5 43.5 20.7 17.5 1.8 1046
Third choice 37.7 3.2 39.8 17.5 1.8 1046


Among users, the medium-sized lime was the most preferred.
However, almost one-half selected either the large or the small
lime as the most desirable size. The proportion selecting the
large lime was only slightly higher than the proportion selecting
the small lime as most desirable. Almost one-eighth of the users
had no preference among the sizes shown to them. A similar
distribution of responses with respect to size preferences was
obtained from homemakers classified as nonusers. The major
difference between the two groups was that a substantially larger
proportion of the nonusers had no preference for a particular
size.
When consideration is given to both first and second choices
of the respondents, results indicate there is a slight preference
for limes in the middle size range over those at either extreme.
In both use groups, the medium-sized lime was the second choice
more than twice as frequently as either of the other two. More-
over, the second and, consequently, the third selections were
about equally distributed between the large and the small limes
for both use groups.







The Consumer Market for Florida Limes 27

In order to determine if skin blemishes are regarded as an
undesirable external quality attribute in fresh limes, homemakers
were shown three photographs reflecting the maximum amount
of blemish permissible under the U. S. No. 1, U. S. No. 2 and
cull grades (Figure 3). Among those expressing a first choice
for one of the three fruits shown to them, the largest proportion
selected the lime with the least amount of external blemish,
i.e., the one reflecting the maximum blemish permissible under
the U. S. No. 1 grade. For both users and nonusers, the order
of preference varied directly with the extent of external blemish,
with the lime depicting the maximum amount under the U. S.
No. 2 grade being ranked second and the lime representing the
maximum permissible under the cull grade being ranked third.
The major difference between the two use groups was that a
substantially larger proportion of the nonusers had no prefer-
ence among the three limes than was the case for those home-
makers who had had use experience with the product (Table 12).

TABLE 12.-PREFERENCES OF HOMEMAKERS FOR FRESH LIMES WITH VARY-
ING AMOUNTS OF SKIN BLEMISH (Based on Figure 3).
A-- B-
Mini- Mini- C No Not
mum mum Cull Prefer- Ascer- Number
Preference U. S. 1 U. S. 2 1 ence tained of Re-
I I spondents
Percent Percent I Percent I Percent Percent
Nonusers

First choice 45.2 11.8 4.3 34.1 4.6 869
Second choice 8.3 41.2 3.7 42.2 4.6 869
Third choice 6.2 1.3 45.7 42.2 4.6 869

Users

First choice 63.4 14.4 5.7 14.7 1.8 1046
Second choice 9.9 54.1 4.9 i 29.3 1.8 1046
Third choice 7.8 2.2 58.9 29.3 1.8 1046


Comparatively slow turnover rates frequently result in retail
displays containing substantial quantities of limes showing symp-
toms of overextended shelf life. The extent to which such
conditions prevail has been established in other studies of the







28 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station.9 In order to obtain
the reaction to limes showing various symptoms of excessive
shelf life, homemakers were shown Figure 4 and were asked to
make selections from among the three limes depicted. Limes
A, B and C represent progressive stages in the process of de-
terioration on the retail counter.
Perhaps the most important result obtained from asking
homemakers to select an order of preference for limes with
symptoms of excessive shelf life from among the three limes
shown in Figure 4 was that substantial proportions regarded all
three as unacceptable (Table 13). Almost 40 percent of the non-
users failed to indicate a first preference for any of the three
limes. Failure to pick any of the three as most desirable was
the reaction of slightly more than one-fourth of the homemakers
who had used fresh limes.

TABLE 13.-REACTION OF HOMEMAKERS TO SHRIVELING AND DISCOLORATION
IN FRESH LIMES (Based on Figure 4).
I I Shrivel
Shrivel with
SNo but No Dark No Not
Shrivel Discolor- Discolor- Prefer- Ascer- Number
Preference ation ation ence trained of Re-
SA B C [ I spondents

_Percent | Percent Percent Percent Percent
Nonusers

First choice 36.7 14.8 4.3 39.6 4.6 869
Second choice 10.7 24.9 7.7 52.1 4.6 869
Third choice 5.5 6.1 31.7 52.1 4.6 869

Users

First choice 47.7 18.7 5.7 26.1 1.8 1046
Second choice 13.7 27.7 9.5 47.3 1.8 1046
Third choice 5.9 8.3 36.7 47.3 1.8 1046


On the basis of responses obtained, it would appear that
homemakers regard lime A, which shows symptoms of yellowing
but no shriveling, as the margin of acceptability. In both use

'Manley and Godwin, op. cit.








The Consumer Market for Florida Limes 29

groups those homemakers exercising a choice picked this lime
as the most desirable by a wide margin. Distribution of the
preferences for limes B and C indicates that they are, for all
practical purposes, unacceptable to the consumer.

RETAIL AVAILABILITY OF FRESH LIMES AND FROZEN
LIMEADE CONCENTRATE

All homemakers who were familiar with fresh limes or lime-
ade concentrate were questioned to determine if these products
were available in food stores where they usually shopped. Re-
sponses indicate that frozen limeade concentrate has a wider
retail distribution than fresh limes. Almost 80 percent of the
respondents reported that limeade concentrate was always or
usually available in the food stores. Less than one-half said
fresh limes were always or usually available during the summer
months. Retail distribution of fresh limes appears even less
favorable when compared with that of fresh lemons, a major
competitor. Fresh lemons were reported as always or usually
available by 96 percent of the homemakers. About 3 out of 10
homemakers were unable to provide an answer regarding the
availability of fresh limes compared to 16 percent who lacked
definite knowledge about availability of frozen limeade concen-
trate (Table 14).

TABLE 14.-AVAILABILITY OF FRESH LIMES AND FROZEN LIMEADE CONCEN-
TRATE IN FOOD STORES WHERE HOMEMAKER SHOPS.

Availability Fresh Limes Frozen Limeade
Concentrate

Number Percent Number Percent
Always available ......... 177 9.3 393 36.2
Usually available .......... 763 39.8 459 42.2
Seldom available ......... 311 16.2 37 3.4
Never available ............ 59 3.1 2 0.2
Do not know -..........-...... 592 30.9 177 16.3
Not ascertained ........... 13 0.7 19 1.7

Total ...........-............ 1915 100.0 1087 100.0









30 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

Frozen limeade concentrate has a wider retail distribution
among varying income and racial groups than that of fresh
limes. In the high income areas, 60 percent stated that fresh
limes were usually or always available during the summer months.
In the low income areas fresh limes were usually or always avail-
able in the retail stores patronized by less than 40 percent of the
respondents. However, in both the low and the high income
areas 78 percent of the respondents reported that frozen limeade
concentrate was usually or always available in food stores where
they shopped.
Retail distribution of fresh limes was more extensive among
stores serving white families than among stores serving non-
white families. They were usually or always available in stores
patronized by 53 percent of the white respondents, while such
availability was indicated by only 41 percent of the nonwhite
homemakers. In comparison, frozen limeade concentrate was
usually or always available in stores where 80 percent of the
white homemakers shopped and in the retail outlets patronized
by 76 percent of the nonwhite homemakers.

SOME PURCHASING HABITS OF CONSUMERS FOR FRESH
LIMES AND FROZEN LIMEADE CONCENTRATE
Families having use experience with fresh limes and frozen
limeade concentrate within the six weeks prior to the study were
questioned regarding the type of retail establishment from which
purchases were made, amounts purchased, prices paid and degree
of satisfaction with recent purchases.
A majority of the recent users of each product had made
purchases at a chain store supermarket. Fifty-eight percent of
the purchases of fresh limes and 69 percent of the purchases of
frozen limeade concentrate were made at such retail establish-
ments (Table 15).
Three or six fruit were by far the most common units of pur-
chase for fresh limes. Together, these two sales units accounted
for almost three-fourths of the purchases. Almost half of the
limeade concentrate purchases also were made in units of either
three or six. However, purchases consisting of one or two units
were more prevalent for limeade concentrate than they were for
the fresh fruit. Very few homemakers purchased limeade con-
centrate in quantities of more than six cans (Table 16).








The Consumer Market for Florida Limes 31

TABLE 15.-TYPE OF FOOD STORE FROM WHICH LAST PURCHASE OF FRESH
LIMES AND FROZEN LIMEADE CONCENTRATE WAS MADE.

Type of Store Fresh Limes Frozen Limeade
Concentrate

Number Percent Number Percent
National, regional or
local chain store 90 58.5 118 69.4

Independent grocery .... 54 35.1 45 26.4

Fruit and vegetable
market ....------........... .. 8 5.2 2 1.2

Frozen food plan .......... 2 1.2
Do not know ................. 1 0.6

Not ascertained ............ 1 0.6 3 1.8


Total .........--- ............... 154 100.0 170 100.0



A wide variation was found in the prices consumers paid for
fresh limes and frozen concentrate. Prices ranged from 2 to 10
cents each for fresh limes and from 8 to 30 cents per 6-ounce
can of frozen limeade concentrate. The most common prices
for fresh limes were 4 and 5 cents each. Frozen limeade con-
centrate was generally bought at prices varying from 10 to 15

TABLE 16.-QUANTITY OF FRESH LIMES AND FROZEN LIMEADE CONCEN-
TRATE PURCHASED IN TERMS OF NUMBER OF FRUIT AND NUMBER OF CANS.

Number Fresh Limes Frozen Limeade
Concentrate

Number Percent Number Percent
One ......................-- ..... - 21 12.3
Two ....--........ ..----- .........-- 6 3.9 42 24.7
Three ............................- 35 22.7 46 27.1
Four ..-.............--- .. ... ----4 2.6 7 4.1
Five .................... ---.. .....- 1 0.7 1 0.6
Six ..................... .......... 77 50.0 34 20.0
Ten ..............-- ......- ......... - 2 1.2
Twelve ........................... 25 16.2 3 1.8
Do not know ---................ 6 3.5
Not ascertained ............ 6 3.9 8 4.7


Total --.................... 154 100.0 170 100.0







32 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

cents per can. However, substantial numbers of homemakers
were unable to recall the price they had paid for the last purchase
of these two products. For fresh limes, 62 percent of the home-
makers could not recall the cost of their last purchase. Such
was the case for 49 percent of those homemakers who had bought
frozen limeade concentrate during the past six weeks.
Homemakers were asked to express their satisfaction or dis-
satisfaction with their most recent purchase of fresh limes and
frozen concentrated limeade. Almost all respondents expressed
no dissatisfaction with either the fresh fruit or the frozen prod-
uct. Of the few expressing dissatisfaction with fresh limes,
most stated that the fruit was of poor quality in that there was
little juice content. Those who were dissatisfied with their re-
cent purchase of limeade concentrate objected to the added
sugar or to a bitter taste.

AN EXAMINATION OF MARKET POTENTIALS
From the foregoing discussion, it is evident that neither fresh
limes nor frozen limeade concentrate has gained wide consumer
acceptance. These products are not used to any appreciable ex-
tent by more than a third of the population. Moreover, there
is a considerable difference between the two products with re-
spect to the degree of consumer familiarity with them. Con-
sumers are less familiar with frozen limeade concentrate than
they are with fresh limes. The lack of knowledge of frozen
limeade concentrate on the part of consumers can be ascribed
partially to the fact that this product has been marketed for a
relatively short period of time. Furthermore, during this period,
promotional efforts to acquaint consumers with it have been
infrequent, sporadic and on a limited scale. Although frozen
limeade concentrate has not gained wide acceptance in the mar-
ket place, it is significant to note that, when only those home-
makers familiar with the two products are considered, the frozen
product has a much wider acceptance than has fresh limes.
About half of those familiar with frozen concentrate use it on
a regular basis, while less than a third of those familiar with
fresh limes use them regularly.
An examination of existing use patterns for fresh limes and
frozen limeade concentrate suggests that these products have
a substantial market potential. Generally speaking, a funda-
mental difficulty in the current marketing situation lies in the
fact that a significantly large number of consumers are un-








The Consumer Market for Florida Limes 33

familiar with the products and that the use rates are relatively
low among those who do know about them. It appears, there-
fore, that a basic problem of the industry resolves into one of
gaining more widespread recognition of its products in the mar-
ket place. There are numerous ways in which this problem can
be approached, one of which would involve the use of some type
of promotional program.
At the outset of an examination of the possibilities of pro-
motional activities as a method of improving the market for
agricultural commodities, it is important to recognize that there
are two basic approaches. On the one hand, it is possible to
promote the products through the use of mass communication
media. On the other, point of sale promotional materials coupled
with dealer service activities may be employed. These approaches
have essentially the same objective-to maintain or increase
purchases of the product. They differ mainly in their basic tech-
niques and the directness with which the potential consumer is
approached.
Unfortunately, one cannot turn to research results as a means
of evaluating relative merits of the alternative approaches which
might be employed. The complex and highly fluid set of eco-
nomic and psychological forces which characterize any market
situation has proved to be an insurmountable difficulty in the
measurement of results of promotional activities in any except
their most elementary forms. However, it is possible through
the use of analogy and economic theory to point out some of the
principal factors which affect the success of advertising and pro-
motional activities.
A major point of consideration in connection with this prob-
lem relates to the nature of the national consumption pattern
for food. Generally speaking, everyone consumes all of the food
he desires, in a quantitative sense. Hence, efforts to increase
total consumption of food products have proved to be a formid-
able task. Over the years, however, consumers have proved to
be capricious with respect to the specific components of their
total diet. A review of consumption statistics reveals continuous
and sometimes rather rapid changes in the food items which
people use. Consequently, the possibilities of expanding sales
of a particular product at the expense of some other product are
substantially greater than for increasing total sales of all foods.
The implications of this principle in the promotion of fresh
limes cannot be stated with certainty. However, the fact that








34 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

limes and lime products are unknown to a substantial share of
the population, and the fact that they are comparatively incon-
spicuous in the food budgets of homemakers who do use them
are strong evidence that the market for this product can be
broadened at the expense of other items currently enjoying
more prominent places in the national consumption pattern.
Moreover, the relatively small size of the total lime crop means
that any appreciable gains in the market place would be highly
magnified in terms of gains to the industry in Florida.
By most criteria, the lime enterprise is relatively small. Con-
sequently, the sums available from the industry for promotional
activities would be limited, especially in relation to the magni-
tude of the problem when viewed from a national standpoint.
It is generally assumed that the frequency and intensity with
which promotional efforts are employed have a direct bearing
on the degree to which they are successful. In view of the ag-
gregate resource limitations which would likely be characteristic
of any program of promotion developed by the lime industry
in Florida, it appears that promotional efforts of the industry
would be most effective if initiated on a restricted basis. That
is, at the outset, the industry may find it advantageous to con-
centrate its promotional efforts in a few major market areas,
in a specific geographic region, or on a particular segment of
the population. By similar reasoning, it would appear desirable
to concentrate a considerable proportion of the total effort on
either fresh limes or frozen limeade concentrate during the be-
ginning phase of a promotional program.
In the selection of the product on which attention should be
focused during initial promotional efforts, frozen limeade con-
centrate appears to have several advantages over the fresh prod-
uct. First, the results of this study indicate that a large pro-
portion of consumers are totally unfamiliar with the frozen
product. On the other hand, the study reveals that the accept-
ance and use rate is relatively high among those consumers who
know about it. Consequently, efforts devoted to acquainting con-
sumers with frozen limeade concentrate might result in a sub-
stantial increase in sales and a broadening of the market base
through the addition of families who would use the product with
some degree of frequency on a permanent basis.
Second, during recent years, consumers have shown a distinct
preference for foods that are convenient to prepare and serve.
Frozen limeade concentrate possesses the physical characteristics








The Consumer Market for Florida Limes 35

of a convenience food item. Also, this contention is supported
by the study results. Convenience in the preparation of various
drinks was the underlying reason given by a substantial number
of homemakers for using frozen limeade concentrate. In fact,
of the homemakers who preferred the frozen product over fresh
limes for particular uses, 85 percent gave convenience as the
reason why they preferred to use frozen limeade concentrate.
A third argument in favor of focusing initial promotional
efforts primarily on frozen limeade concentrate relates to the
problem of maintaining a continuing and uniform supply. An
adequate supply is an essential element in the success of pro-
motional activities. No amount of advertising or promotion can
be successful unless the product involved is readily available to
consumers. The fact that frozen limeade concentrate can be
stored and distributed throughout the year would seem to give
this product a further edge over fresh limes in a promotional
program.
In comparison with the fresh form, processed fruits can be
more readily related to promotional efforts because it is easier
for the prospective buyer to identify them in the retail food
store. This is true not only with respect to brand names but
also with respect to quality levels. In any promotional under-
taking, it is important that consumers be able to identify readily
the product involved, and that they be able to obtain supplies
that are of relatively constant quality. In this respect, also,
frozen limeade concentrate would seem to have advantages over
fresh limes.
In any program of promotion that uses funds collected on an
industry-wide basis, the concentration of efforts on frozen lime-
ade concentrate would likely bring forth objections from those
segments of the industry interested primarily in the fresh prod-
uct. Undoubtedly, there is some degree of competition between
the two products, and initially it should be expected that pro-
motional emphasis of the frozen product may cause some con-
sumers to shift away from the use of fresh limes. However,
the study results indicate that, to a considerable degree, the
two products are complementary. That is, a large proportion
of the families who use the products tend to use both rather
than only one. Thus, if the market is broadened by promotional
programs-even though they emphasize the processed product-
it can be expected that both the fresh lime and frozen limeade
concentrate interests would benefit.







36 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

During most seasons, lime growers in Florida experience
widely fluctuating prices for fresh fruit at shipping point levels.
These variations result largely from rapidly changing supply
situations and to a lesser extent from short-run changes in de-
mand. Assuming that through promotional efforts it were pos-
sible to increase the demand for frozen limeade concentrate, a
diversion of a larger share of the crop into this use should serve
to stabilize supply and prices for that component of the crop
marketed in fresh form. Specifically, it would be possible to avert
sharp decreases in fresh market prices through the diversion of
excessive supplies into processed form. From the standpoint of
total revenue to the industry, grower returns from the fresh
crop may be larger under conditions of small volumes and high
prices than under conditions of larger volumes and lower prices
-particularly if the small volume situation can be created by
the profitable diversion of a part of the crop into frozen lime-
ade concentrate.
A major factor which will have a bearing upon the success
of any type of market promotional program is the extent to
which an industry can carry it out on a sustained basis. Con-
tinuity is more important than national coverage if a choice must
be made between the two. It is not likely that large numbers
of consumers would become accustomed to the use of either
limes or lime products in a short period of time. Therefore, in-
frequent or sporadic promotional efforts would likely prove in-
effective in increasing consumer demand for Florida limes. A
better approach would be for the industry to assess its resource
capabilities and, within the limits of its resources, formulate a
program that can be operated on a continuing basis.








The Consumer Market for Florida Limes 37

SUMMARY
The objectives of this study are (1) to describe the market
status for fresh limes and frozen limeade concentrate from the
standpoint of the consumer and (2) to examine the implications
of the findings with respect to the development of improved
marketing procedures and the formulation of promotional pro-
grams.
The method of study entailed a consumer survey involving
personal interviews with 2,172 families in the Dayton, Ohio,
market area. Information was obtained about consumers' fa-
miliarity with, use patterns of, and opinions about fresh limes
and frozen limeade concentrate. A summary of the study find-
ings follows:
Familiarity and Extent of Use.-Consumers were more fa-
miliar with fresh limes than they were with the frozen product.
Only 12 percent were totally unfamiliar with fresh limes, as
compared to one-half who were unfamiliar with frozen limeade
concentrate. When only those familiar with each product are
considered, however, limeade concentrate was used by a larger
proportion of families than were fresh limes.
Frequency of Use.-The rate at which fresh limes and lime-
ade concentrate had been used was about the same. However,
both products were used on a relatively infrequent basis. Among
the users of each product, only 19 percent reported use on the
basis of once a week or more often. A major contributing
factor to the infrequent use of both products was a dislike for
the lime taste on the part of some family member.
Manner of Use.-The most frequently mentioned use for both
products was in the preparation of limeade drinks. Among those
who had purchased the products for home consumption, over 40
percent used limes in alcoholic drinks, whereas only 17 percent
mentioned alcoholic drinks as a use for the frozen product.
Among those who had purchased fresh limes during the pre-
ceding year, 40 percent indicated they preferred fresh limes to
fresh lemons for certain uses. In comparison, only 20 percent
of the homemakers preferred limeade concentrate over lemonade
concentrate for particular uses. More than half of those re-
spondents who had used both fresh limes and frozen limeade
concentrate stated a preference for the frozen product for cer-
tain uses.







38 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

Preferences for External Quality Features in Fresh Limes.-
Homemakers preferred fresh limes of light green skin color to
dark green or yellow fruit. Homemakers failed to have a strong
preference for limes of a particular size. However, a slight
preference was shown for limes in the middle size range over
those at either extreme.
Preference for fresh limes with external blemish varied di-
rectly with the amount of such quality deficiencies. That is,
limes with external blemish in the amount permissible under
the U. S. No. 1 grade were strongly preferred over those of the
U. S. No. 2 and cull grades. With respect to overmaturity, home-
makers regarded yellowing without shriveling as the margin of
acceptability in fresh limes.
An Examination of Market Potentials.-An examination of
the existing use patterns for fresh limes and frozen limeade
concentrate suggests that these products have a substantial
market potential. The fact that a large proportion of consumers
do not know about limes and limeade concentrate or do not use
them with any degree of frequency further suggests that the
basic problem of the industry is one of gaining more widespread
recognition for its products.
In view of the resource limitations that will likely characterize
any future promotional efforts, the lime industry may find it
advantageous to focus initial attention either on fresh limes or
on frozen limeade concentrate. In the selection of the product
on which attention should be focused during initial promotional
efforts, frozen limeade concentrate appears to have several ad-
vantages over the fresh product.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This study was financed in part by funds provided by the
1955-56 Lime Administrative Committee. Particular recogni-
tion is due David M. Biggar, manager of the Committee, for his
assistance in the beginning phases of the work.
The authors are indebted also to Ralph Sneeringer, Univer-
sity of Florida Photo Service, for his advice and assistance in
the preparation of photographs employed in the study.





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