JAPANESE OLIVE OIL CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR: A CONJOINT ANALYSIS APPROACH pp. 27-47
Authors: Nadhem Mtimet, Dep. of Rural Economy and Management, Ecole Superieure d'Agriculture de Mograne, Tunisia, Kenichi Kashiwagi The Alliance for Research on North Africa (ARENA), Univ. of Tsukuba, Japan, Lokman Zaibet, Dep. of Rural Economy and Management, Ecole Superieure d'Agriculture de Mograne, Tunisia, Mazakazu Nagaki, Divison of Appropriate Technology and Science for Sustainable Development,Univ. of Tsukuba, Japan
Abstract: 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 an interest in reinforcing and to increasing their penetration into 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 whereby the price variable was introduced in its discrete form in the first model and in its linear and quadratic form 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 olive oil. Japanese consumers prefer a green olive oil with a 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 olive oil,indicating low awareness of Japanese consumers about olive oil. The price variable estimates have shown a convex utility curve indicating a decrease in consumer use when price increases to a maximum. Above that price, consumer use increase indicating in that case, that olive oil is considered a luxurious product. Differences as well as similarities have been detected among consumer segments.