The great pear contest of 2021 has ended. Portland pear fans selected seven varieties (Paragon, Bartlett, Green Anjou, Concorde, Comice, Happi Pear and Seckel) as the most overall liked in a 2021 consumer preference study by Oregon State University.
According to Ann Colonna, sensory program director at OSU’s Food Innovation Center in Portland and one of the principal investigators, the research project examined attributes ranging from taste to texture and juiciness to woodiness, but the ‘overall liking’ score measured the participants’ gut reaction after biting into a slice of fruit,
Results from a pear consumer preferences study by Oregon State University and Washington State University, conducted in 2021. (Source: Ann Colonna/Oregon State University; Graphic: Jared Johnson/Good Fruit Grower)
Funded by the Fresh Pear and Processed Pear committees, which promote Northwest pears under federal marketing orders, the goal was to identify pear characteristics favored by Pacific Northwest consumers for both summer and winter pears.
It did not surprise Colonna that many of the pear industry’s veteran varieties, such as Bartlett and Green Anjou, scored well. The key is conditioning, she said. Stemilt took pains to condition the study pears to their optimum quality, something consumers don’t always know how to do at home