Consumer Preference Heterogeneity Evaluation in Fruit and Vegetable Purchasing Decisions Using the Best-Worst Approach

Francesco Sottile, Cristiana Peano, Valentina Maria Merlino, Stefano Massaglia, Danielle Borra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study assesses consumer preferences during fruit and vegetable (FV) sales, considering the sociodemographic variables of individuals together with their choice of point of purchase. A choice experiment was conducted in two metropolitan areas in Northwest Italy. A total of 1170 consumers were interviewed at different FV purchase points (mass retail chains and open-air markets) using a paper questionnaire. The relative importance assigned by consumers to 12 fruit and vegetable product attributes, including both intrinsic and extrinsic quality cues, was assessed by using the best-worst scaling (BWS) methodology. The BWS results showed that "origin", "seasonality", and "freshness" were the most preferred attributes that Italian consumers took into account for purchases, while no importance was given to "organic certification", "variety", or "brand". Additionally, a latent class analysis was employed to divide the total sample into five different clusters of consumers, characterized by the same preferences related to FV attributes. Each group of individuals is described on the basis of sociodemographic variables and by the declared fruit and vegetable point of purchase. This research demonstrates that age, average annual income, and families with children are all discriminating factors that influence consumer preference and behavior, in addition to affecting which point of purchase the consumer prefers to acquire FV products from.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalFoods
Volume8
Publication statusPublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Plant Science

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