Consumer and professional chef perceptions and acceptance of edible flowers

Kathleen Marie Kelley, B. K. Behe, J. A. Biernbaum, K. L. Poff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


A series of studies were conducted to investigate perceptions and acceptability of selected edible flower species, potential niche greenhouse crops, by two customer segments. The two segments were defined as professional chefs and consumers, both important product users. These two segments were included to help researchers make recommendations to small-scale growers concerning to which group(s) they could market the product. Studies were designed to determine acceptance of edible flowers, preference for species, colors, and uses, and to investigate consumer purchases in an operating grocery store. Consumers and professional chefs evaluated attributes of three edible flowers with both groups rating Viola tricolor L. 'Helen Mount' and Tropaeolum majus L. 'Jewel Mix' similarly. Other consumer participants would prefer to purchase an 8-oz (227-g) container of edible flowers with all three Viola x wittrockiana Gams. 'Accord Banner Clear Mixture' colors tested (blue, yellow and orange) priced at $2.99. Additional consumers participated in another study, using the same size container and price, and selected a mixture of all four nasturtium colors offered. This mixture of peach, cream, orange, and crimson nasturtiums had the highest utility score (0.091) showing it was the favorite. The addition of other species (Viola and/or Borago officinalis L. [borage]) to the mix further increased container's value. The fourth study was implemented in three supermarkets in the Metro-Detroit area. Consumers purchased a total of 243 of 360 containers of edible flowers (6 nasturtiums and 14 viola) marketed in 8-oz. containers at three different prices ($3.99, $2.99, and $1.99) over a six-week period. The optimum price point was $2.99. There appeared to be a substantial niche market for edible flowers, especially a mixture of flowers in a small container at a moderate price point.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationXXVI International Horticultural Congress
Subtitle of host publicationProtected Cultivation 2002: In Search of Structures, Systems and Plant Materials for Sustainable Greenhouse Production
PublisherInternational Society for Horticultural Science
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9789066056275
StatePublished - Mar 11 2004

Publication series

NameActa Horticulturae
ISSN (Print)0567-7572

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Horticulture


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