Exploring Japanese olive oil consumer behavior

During the last two decades, olive oil consumption in Japan is showing an increasing trend due to dietary and health concerns. Traditional olive oil producer and exporter countries such as Italy, Spain and Tunisia have interest to reinforce and to increase their penetration in the Japanese market. This study examines Japanese olive oil consumer behaviour by the use of the conjoint analysis technique. Five attributes have been chosen to design the experiment: region of origin, price, olive oil type, taste and colour. Two models have been estimated where the price variable was introduced in its discrete form in the first model and in its linear and quadratic from in the second model. In a second step, consumer segmentation was undertaken based on consumption frequencies. Two groups have been identified: “heavy consumers” and “light or potential consumers”. The main results indicate the importance of the selected variables in Japanese olive oil consumer' choice. Olive oil with Mediterranean or Tunisian origin has higher probabilities to be chosen than Italian or Spanish one. Japanese consumers prefer a green with bland taste olive oil. Concerning olive oil type, results indicate that refined olive oil has more probability to be chosen than virgin or extra-virgin one, indicating low awareness of Japanese consumers about olive oil. The price variable estimates have shown a convex utility curve indicating a decrease of consumers’ utility when price increases till a maximum price. Above that price, consumers’ utility increase indicating in that case that olive oil is considered as a luxurious product. Differences as well as similarities have been detected among consumer segments.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-25

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