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How consumers are shaping variety selection at De Ruiter

How consumers are shaping variety selection at De Ruiter

Testing Across the Globe


At De Ruiter Seeds, our goal is to help protected culture growers bring a masterpiece to market every time. Increasingly, consumer preferences for taste, shape, colour and texture are playing an important role in how growers consider what varieties to grow. Known as sensory science, De Ruiter is at the forefront of this understanding and is undertaking extensive research to uncover what consumers are looking for around the world. 


Driven by Consumer Sensory Lead Dr Chow-Ming Lee, these efforts form part of Bayer’s Consumer Science R&D department. Dr Lee and his team conduct scientifically robust consumer studies, to understand regional preferences for taste, texture, sight, smell and more.


By conducting consumer testing across the globe, Bayer Vegetable Seeds is learning about taste preferences to enable us to better predict what consumers will want tomorrow. This process has enabled us to pinpoint specific attributes that are most important to consumers in different countries and develop varieties that not only perform agronomically but are adapted to consumer preferences.

In Australia and New Zealand, Dr Lee and his team have partnered with the University of Melbourne to conduct consumer panels in large, medium truss and snacking tomatoes. Since the studies began in 2018, 150 consumers have been sampled on 40 attributes across 15 De Ruiter varieties. Using both qualitative and quantitative feedback, the data collected is analysed and used to create sensory profiles, enabling us to deliver the flavor story of tomorrow’s leading varieties.


De Ruiter growers rely on us for seeds that meet them at the intersection of quality and quantity, where we optimise both flavor and yield. Through our Sensory Science programme, we can share what we’ve learned about consumer sensory preferences and breed future generations of varieties that will grow into delicious products consumers will remember.


Here in New Zealand, Marinice, Red Delight and DRC564 have performed well in consumer panels and are varieties renowned for their flavour and high concentration of sugar (Brix). We are also trialing other varieties focused on consumer preferences.


We are connected with breeders around the world to provide superior taste associated with Agronomic Crop Performance in different segments of tomatoes from cherries to beefsteak, if you would like to know more about our pipeline get in touch with us.

Contact Marco Lozada. (marco.lozada@bayer.com)


To Receive a PDF of the Sensory Wheel below please contact Marco 


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