The effect of personality traits on consumers' preferences for extra virgin olive oil
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The aim of this paper is to investigate the role of psychological factors on building the consumer’s behavioral decision process towards extra virgin olive oil, with special attention paid to the organic attribute. The paper hypothesises that differences in consumers’ personality traits, such as food-related personality traits, purchasing habits and lifestyles, affect consumers’ preferences for extra virgin olive oil. The methodological framework is based on the specification of an extended hybrid choice model (HCM), which was estimated following a two-step procedure. In the first step, a structural equation model was estimated to test for hierarchical relationships between latent variables to explain purchasing intentions towards an organic olive oil. In the second step, the predicted latent variables were introduced in a random parameter logit (RPL) model to investigate the main determinants of consumers’ choices related to extra virgin olive oil and the specific role of the organic attribute. The results from this study reinforce the need to include the psychological characteristics of consumers, such as attitudes, food-related personality traits, purchase habits and lifestyle orientation, to better explain how individuals make food choices and to better understand the decision maker’s process. Interestingly, Catalan consumers perceive a disutility from the organic attribute compared to other production system alternatives (conventional and PDO), while subjective norms and a higher perception of behavioral control only partially mitigate this effect. Environmental or health concerns seem to not be relevant to consumers’ choices related to olive oil as the conventional olive oil is already perceived as a healthy product per se.
Journal Title/Title of Proceedings
Food Quality and Preference
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Food Quality and Preference. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Food Quality and Preference, (51, July 2016)DOI: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2016.02.012