Ecological characteristics and new competitiveness strategies in fresh vegetables market
The intense process of internationalisation of the food market is giving rise to new competitive scenarios. The growth of market shares by new export countries, along with other consumer and retailer's issues impose different marketing policies for agri-food products. In particular, a wider awareness of consumers for environmental and health issues is modifying the structure of demand for fresh products. In the past, the country of origin and a convenient quality/price ratio were the main strategic strengths for gaining and maintaining international market shares . Nowadays market shares are gained by moving towards new product attributes, namely environment friendliness and food safety. This paper aims to suggesting new and more successful marketing strategies. The case study is the German market of cherry tomatoes. An analysis of German consumer preference was performed on stated choice data. Results provide interesting insights. Product attributes related to the environment are found to be relevant. As these are defined as 'faith' attributes, we speculate that German consumers refer to product origin country as a proxy of its environmental aspects. Two separate competitive segments emerge, one with a higher level of environmental quality (Germany and Italy), and Turkey, Spain, France and Holland. Finally, results point out how policies need to be redesigned and focused on new and more complex issues expressed by consumers in modern and developed markets marketing.
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