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Consumer Preference for Coleslaw: Experimental Cabbage Variety vs. Conventional Cabbage-2002 Report

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This is a 2002 report from a NC Specialty Crops Program Project. It is posted for historical reference purposes.

PROJECT LEADER(S): Suzanne Johanningsmeier and Roger McFeeters, USDA/ARS in North Carolina State University Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Science


Marketing research is an important component of the NC State Specialty Crops Program. As new crops are tested and introduced, we strive to provide growers with information on current consumer demand and marketing strategies, as well as advice on production techniques. This consumer survey was performed in conjunction with Super-Sweet cabbage production trials underway in Kinston, NC. Results support the suitability of this crop as a value-added commodity through the processing of coleslaw.

Super Sweet Cabbage Variety Evaluation Study being performed in Kinston, NC.
Recent work at Duke University has shown that cole crops such as cabbage are a good source of anti-carcinogens. Since many people do not like the bitter taste of cabbage, production of sweet cabbage will enable more people to benefit from the health-promoting qualities of this plant.


Panelists were categorized into three user groups based on their reported frequency of consumption: light (1-3 times/year), moderate (1-3 times/month), and heavy (1-3 times/week) with 28%, 59%, and 12% of panelists in each group, respectively. The panel was equally representative of gender with 51% females and 49% males. Seventy – five percent of panelists were between the ages of 21 and 50, and 24% were over 50 years old. The experimental cabbage variety was preferred by 62% of the consumers when prepared with the mayonnaise dressing (p = 0.05), and 60% of the consumers preferred the experimental cabbage variety when prepared with the vinaigrette dressing (0.10 < p < 0.05).


Consumers showed a slight preference for coleslaw made with the experimental cabbage variety. This preference was present for both the mayonnaise and vinaigrette recipes.

Reference: Meilgaard, M., Civille, G. V., and B. T. Carr. 1991. Sensory Evaluation Techniques, 2nd Edition. CRC Press. Boca Raton, FL.

Reviewed by Jeanine Davis, NC Alternative Crops & Organics Program, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University on 9/23/2022.