The paper presents the results of consumer surveys, conducted among Dutch, German and Polish buyers of hard cheese, on the features of this product and place of purchasing it. All respondents indicated supermarkets and markets as the main places to purchase hard cheese. Various factors influenced the consumer purchase decision depending on the consumer group: the habit was very important or important mainly for the Dutch respondents; the prices were important for the Polish survey participants; the brand was important for the Dutch consumers; and the desire to try a new type of cheese was important for the polled Germans. Almost all the respondents rated the advertising as not important or unimportant. While assessing the conditions in the place of purchase, nearly all the survey participants found the cleanness of stores and the tidiness of shop assistants to be very important and important. The polled in the Netherlands rated the location of place of purchase as very important and important; the polled Germans rated the air conditioning system present in the shop as well as the competence of shop assistants to be very important and important. Of the features of hard cheese, its freshness and taste were very important and important for the respondents from the three countries. Moreover, the shelf-life, flavour, and texture were important for the German and Dutch respondents, whereas the colour: for the polled Dutch people and the pro-health characteristics for the German respondents. The polled from the three countries rated the information on caloric value as very important and important. The information on quality certificates, content of proteins, preservatives, and nutritional value was rated as very important and important mainly by the Dutch and German respondents, whereas the information on fat content – by the German respondents. The German and Dutch consumers’ rating of the importance of cheese features as well as of the information thereon was similar, whereas the number of the polled in Poland who rated the qualities of the product and the information thereon as very important or important was much lower.
hard cheese, consumer rating, diversity of buyers’ opinions, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland