FRI (Fondation Rurale Interjurassienne), Courtemelon-CP 65, 2852 Courtételle, Schweiz

Swiss local food products competition: sensory evaluation methodology

Nowadays, consumers want products with genuine value-added. With the impact of a medal on the purchasing decisions of consumers being well established, the Fondation Rurale Interjurassienne has dreamt up an event specifically designed to highlight the various Swiss local and origin-linked food products available to consumers: the Concours Suisse des produits du terroir, or Swiss Local Food Products Competition. Such a competition aims to give visibility to the efforts of local producers, to showcase their work and their know-how, and to strengthen the existing link between production region and market. Medals are awarded by tables of judges (each consisting of a producer, a specialist and a consumer) which, after an individual evaluation, jointly discuss the final rating. This study aimed to understand the psychological factors influencing the final rating awarded by the jury. To this end, all of the individual evaluations of the jurors of the 972 products tasted during the 2015 competition were collected. The results did not demonstrate a power takeover by one type of juror during deliberations for the final rating. At the same time, a tendency to award more gold medals than the arithmetic mean would authorise (or warrant) was noted.

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