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Segmenting the organic food market in Lebanon: an application of k-means cluster analysis

Malak Tleis (Scienze per l’ambiente, Universita degli Studi di Napoli Parthenope, Napoli, Italy)
Roberta Callieris (CHEAM – Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari, Valenzano, Italy)
Rocco Roma (Department of Agriculture and Environmental Science, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 3 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discover profiles of organic food consumers in Lebanon by performing a market segmentation based on lifestyle and attitude variables and thus be able to propose appropriate marketing strategies for each market segment.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey, based on the use of closed-ended questionnaire, was addressed to 320 organic food consumers in the capital Beirut, in February and March 2014. Descriptive analysis, principal component analysis and cluster analysis (k-means method) were performed upon collected data.

Findings

Four clusters were obtained and labelled based on psychographic characteristics and willingness to pay for the most purchased organic products. “Localist” and “Health conscious” clusters were the largest proportion of the selected sample, thus these were the most critical to be addressed by specific marketing strategies, emphasising the combination of local and organic food and the healthy properties of organic products. “Rational” and “Irregular” cluster were relatively small groups, addressed by pricing and promotional strategies.

Originality/value

This is the first study attempting to segment organic food consumers into different categories in a developing country as Lebanon.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge all parties who gave their support for this research. Thanks are extended to Dr Lina Albitar, Pauline Eid and Istituto Mediterraneo di Certificazione (IMC) – Lebanon staff for their logistic support throughout the whole research. Also thanks are extended to the owners and staff of the organic outlets where the survey was conducted: A new Earth, Macrodette, Beit el Soha, Al-Marej organic food store, and Spinneys supermarket, and to organisers of: Beirut earth market and Souk el Tayeb. In particular, the help and support of Lynda Khalifeh from Spinneys, and Elizabeth Rebeiz from Al-Marej organic food store are acknowledged.

Citation

Tleis, M., Callieris, R. and Roma, R. (2017), "Segmenting the organic food market in Lebanon: an application of k-means cluster analysis", British Food Journal, Vol. 119 No. 7, pp. 1423-1441. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-08-2016-0354

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited