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Spanish consumer perceptions towards fruits from Ecuador: a preliminary qualitative approach with projective techniques

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Authors: S.I. Vaca y F.J. Mesías
Issue: 110-1 (89-101)
Topic: Agricultural Economics
Keywords: Consumer’s perception, fruit, Ecuador, projective techniques, qualitative research.

Qualitative research techniques are an interesting approach to try to understand consumer perceptions and behavior in food purchase. Within this concept, projective techniques are one of the methods which show an increasing use for marketing research and consumer behavior, given their potential both to overcome communication barriers with the surveyees and to deepen into aspects of their experience that can be studied with difficulties otherwise. This study used two projective techniques, word association and completion of sentences, to analyze the perceptions of Spanish consumers towards fruits from Ecuador, obtaining information that will improve the marketability of these products. Data were obtained through 147 personal interviews conducted in three Spanish cities during April-May 2012. Results from both methodologies showed that fruits from Ecuador are generally valued by consumers as an exotic source food, with good quality and good appearance. However, there are also negative concepts that have emerged in the study, as their consideration as expensive products, the preference for Spanish product in the case of the banana and especially the ignorance of consumers towards the Ecuadorian products, the way to identify them and their purchasing locations.

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