Characteristics of the Hungarian Melon Consumption Behaviour

Lehota, Zsuzsanna – Lehota, József – Lencsés, Enikő – Hegedűs, Szilárd

Keywords: water and rock melon trade, consumption, cluster analysis, decision tree/ CHAID, I12, P46

Watermelon and rock melon (cantaloupe) are also highly popular summer fruits in Hungary, although rock melon (5th) is behind watermelon (1st) due to the higher risk of shopping and health. Regarding shopping preferences, the experiential product characteristics are more important in the shopping decision, especially the colour of the melon meat, than the taste. The role of searching for information (about health effects) is devalued by the Hungarian consumers compared to the international level, within which the more favourable health effects of the more popular watermelon are valued higher, although in terms of the number and level of positive health factors, science values rock melon higher. Hungarian melonconsuming behaviour differs significantly from that of American and Australian consumers. The consumption of fresh melon is almost exclusive in the Hungarian consumption, and processed products are almost entirely absent, although this would allow dumping to be carried out in the event of summer heat peaks, thus improving the sustainability of the sector by reducing waste and losses. Within the framework of the Hungarian consumer behaviour, product categories have not yet been developed that would allow them to adapt to new lifestyle trends (snack food, on-the-go product, street food subcategory). Based on the above, it would be advisable to change the sales promotion targets pursued so far in the melon programmes, because fresh home consumption is very limited, and we cannot take advantage of the demand opportunities of domestic and foreign tourism in this regard. Another key development option would be the construction of processing capacity and the introduction of processed products on the market.