Food quality is made up of a set of both intrinsic and extrinsic characteristics, including how these characteristics are guaranteed and communicated to end consumers. As a result, purchase choices are affected not only by elements such as taste and price, but also by the level of food safety, production process characteristics, nutritional aspects, origin and organic certification. In this paper we present the results of an analysis of consumer preferences for "Tergeste" dop extra virgin olive oil produced in the province of Trieste. The conjoint analysis method was used to assess the importance attached by consumers to the different attributes of the extra virgin oil olive. A cluster analysis was carried out on the utility scores estimated in the conjoint analysis to classify consumers into homogeneous groups (or segments) for whom different attributes were more important. A proposal for consumer segmentation and the definition of "ideal product" is therefore, presented in the study. The paper concludes with some reflections and suggestions for the valorization of "Tergeste" dop in which it is shown that the characteristics of demand are such as to make the policy of high prices, related to the quality policy of the product, practicable. Finally, through analysis of identified consumer segments, the possibility for producers to implement new strategies to improve sales development are reported.
Keywords: Extra virgin olive oil, consumer preferences, conjoint analysis, geographical Indications
Jel Code: Q13, M31, D12, C19