Consumer interest in nutritious and innovative foods encourages the development of products based on raw materials with nutraceutical potential. The health benefits provided by pomegranate have been recognized; therefore, the development of pomegranate juice may match consumer expectations regarding this goal. However, the concept has to first be accepted by the consumer. The aim of the study was to utilize a rating based conjoint analysis to investigate how Brazilian consumers perceive pomegranate juice by identifying the role of packaging attributes relevant to the consumer's intention to purchase. Five factors were considered in the study: technology used in the juice production (high hydrostatic pressure - HHP - a technology that preserves nutritional and sensory properties), antioxidants, price, preservatives, and colorant. Eight hypothetical pomegranate juice packages were created following an incomplete block design and evaluated by 150 fruit juice consumers. Three clusters were identified. The average results revealed that antioxidants were the attribute of greatest relative importance to cluster 1 (RI: 36%), followed by HHP (RI: 25%) and colorants (14%). Consumers in cluster 2 considered price as the most important attribute (RI: 41%), followed by antioxidants (RI: 21%) and HHP (RI: 18%). Cluster 3, as well as cluster 2, considered price the most important attribute (RI: 28%), followed by antioxidants (RI: 26%) and HHP (RI: 22%). The results showed that consumers valued information on the health benefits of antioxidants as well as on the technology, suggesting that both types of information may be relevant tools to increase the intention to purchase the product. The application of HHP for pomegranate juice processing was positively perceived by consumers, suggesting a potential commercial application in the Brazilian industry.
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