UACES Facebook A berry nice opportunity: Jackson County extension to gauge consumer preferences for strawberry varieties
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A berry nice opportunity: Jackson County extension to gauge consumer preferences for strawberry varieties

Participants must register by April 22.

April 13, 2022

By Mary Hightower
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Fast facts

  • Jackson County conducting strawberry taste survey
  • Register by April 22

(303 words)

(Newsrooms: with file art )
NEWPORT, Ark. — Have a favorite strawberry variety? That’s what the Jackson County Extension Office wants to know through a six-variety consumer preference survey it’s conducting this spring.

Matthew Davis, Jackson County extension staff chair for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, is initiating the survey. The strawberries are being grown as part of a variety trial to see which ones fare best under local conditions in Arkansas. The plots are located at Bill’s Berries in Newport.

Red strawberries growing on black plastic.
TASTE TEST — The Jackson County Extension Office is seeking local consumers to taste-test varieties of strawberries.  (U of A System Division of Agriculture file photo by Fred Miller)

“While we test to see if these varieties are adaptable to Arkansas conditions, I’ll be picking berries all season,” Davis said. “I thought it would be good information to see which ones our local consumers prefer.”

Although anyone can participate, because of the delicate nature of the berries, Davis said it would be best if the testers are within a 30-minute drive of Newport. Davis is looking for between 100 and 500 participants.

How to participate
To participate, use this form to register by April 22, or until all the slots are filled.

Davis said he could arrange for pickup and delivery, within limits. For those who live outside of the 30-minute drive radius, Davis said he could arrange with that person to have the berries ready for them to pick up, or possibly ship.

“Each person who signs up will get six clamshells, each with a different variety,” he said. “They will have a QR code. Testers will be asked to scan the code and answer questions online.”

Two of the varieties being tested are so new, they don’t yet have a name. One of the varieties is a standby that has proven itself suited to Arkansas’ growing conditions and consumer tastes.

Davis said strawberry picking is expected to begin the last week of April and run to the first week of June.

Taste test requirements  

Participants must: 

  • Be willing to take a short survey, less than 10 minutes. All information is anonymous. 
  • Be willing to coordinate pick-up of strawberries within an eight-hour or better notice. 
  • Sample all six varieties within a 72-hour period to ensure consistency of product. 
  • Provide a controlled environment for storage, such as a refrigerator.
  • Not use additional sweetener in the initial taste test.  

To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: Follow on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch. To learn more about the Division of Agriculture, visit Follow us on Twitter at @AgInArk. To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit

About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system. 

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.  

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. 

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Media contact: Mary Hightower,