The purpose of this paper is to verify the market potentials of health claims by means of a study that tests the effectiveness of extra-virgin olive oil promotion based on the nutraceutical indications recently authorised by European regulations.
The methodology utilises a discrete choice experiment on a sample of Italian consumers. Market segmentation is performed by means of applying a latent-class model.
The health claim proves particularly interesting for two consumer segments: the “functional claim seekers” (24 per cent) and the “reduction of disease risk claim seekers” (13 per cent). The former segment consists of young, single males who prefer more moderately priced olive oils. The latter is instead made up of elderly individuals who prefer an explicit message on disease and are oriented towards the higher price ranges.
The potentials in implementing a promotional strategy based on the awareness of olive oil’s nutraceutical properties are demonstrated. Strategies will have to target specific characteristics of the various consumer segments.
This paper has confirmed the opportunities that the recent European regulations on health claims have introduced for the olive oil market. This form of promotion could prove particularly important for quality productions that are often insufficiently recognised vis-à-vis their high production costs.
Casini, L., Contini, C., Marinelli, N., Romano, C. and Scozzafava, G. (2014), "Nutraceutical olive oil: does it make the difference?", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 44 No. 6, pp. 586-600. https://doi.org/10.1108/NFS-09-2013-0102
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