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Open AccessArticle

Consumer Attitudes and Preference Exploration towards Fresh-Cut Salads Using Best–Worst Scaling and Latent Class Analysis

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Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Forestali ed Alimentari, Università di Torino, Largo Braccini, 10095 Grugliasco, Italy
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Dipartimento di Architettura, Università di Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, Edificio 14, 90128 Palermo, Italy
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Foods 2019, 8(11), 568; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8110568
Received: 21 October 2019 / Revised: 4 November 2019 / Accepted: 7 November 2019 / Published: 13 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Sensory and Consumer Sciences)
This research explored the preferences and buying habits of a sample of 620 consumers of fresh-cut, ready-to-eat salads. A best–worst scaling approach was used to measure the level of preference stated by individuals regarding 12 attributes for quality (intrinsic, extrinsic and credence) of fresh-cut salads. The experiment was carried out through direct interviews at several large-scale retail outlets in the Turin metropolitan area (north-west of Italy). Out of the total number of questioned consumers, 35% said they did not consume fresh-cut salads. On the contrary, the rest of the involved sample expressed the highest degree of preference towards the freshness/appearance attribute, followed by the expiration date and the brand. On the contrary, attributes such as price, organic certification and food safety did not emerge as discriminating factors in consumer choices. Additionally, five clusters of consumers were identified, whose preferences are related both to purchasing styles and socio-demographic variables. In conclusion, this research has highlighted the positive attitude of consumers towards quality products backed by a brand, providing ideas for companies to improve within this sector and implement strategies to answer the needs of a new segment of consumers, by determining market opportunities that aim to strengthen local brands. View Full-Text
Keywords: best–worst scaling; consumer preferences; latent cluster analysis; fresh-cut salads; quality attributes best–worst scaling; consumer preferences; latent cluster analysis; fresh-cut salads; quality attributes
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Massaglia, S.; Merlino, V.M.; Borra, D.; Bargetto, A.; Sottile, F.; Peano, C. Consumer Attitudes and Preference Exploration towards Fresh-Cut Salads Using Best–Worst Scaling and Latent Class Analysis. Foods 2019, 8, 568.

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