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Preferences For Berries Among Consumers In Southern Chile: Blueberries Are Produced But Are They Consumed?

B. Schnettler, H. Miranda, J. Sepúlveda, Marianela Denegri, M. Mora, G. Lobos
Published 2011 · Medicine, Chemistry

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UNLABELLED Blueberry plantations in Chile are oriented exclusively towards exports to northern hemisphere countries; however, this fruit has recently been introduced into the domestic market due to the increased supply and a fall in export market prices. Based on the previously mentioned, the objectives of the present study were to evaluate consumer preferences for 3 species of berries (blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries), sold loose (unpackaged) as opposed to packaged and branded, at different prices, in one of the principal blueberry producing areas of Chile; and to distinguish consumer segments by their preferences. To do this a survey was applied to 400 people in the Araucanía Region of southern Chile, who were responsible for purchasing fruit for their households. Conjoint analysis showed a preference for raspberries and strawberries over blueberries, packaged and branded, at the lowest price. Total of 2 principal segments were distinguished by cluster analysis: "price sensitive" (42.7%), who preferred strawberries, and "sensitive to species of berry" (47.5%), who preferred raspberries and strawberries. The segments presented different profiles in their demographic make-up and fruit consumption behavior. Strategies are discussed that might reverse the low acceptance of blueberries in the Chilean domestic market. PRACTICAL APPLICATION This study presents information on the introduction of new fresh foods into the market.
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