Beef Consumer Preferences in Chile: Importance of Quality Attribute Differentiators on the Purchase Decision

Pablo Villalobos1*, Carlos Padilla1, Cristian Ponce1, and Álvaro Rojas1

Agrifood markets worldwide have focused on searching for new quality attribute differentiators, which capture the attention of consumers and meet their needs. The purpose of this research was to determine the importance of a set of quality attribute differentiators associated with a beef cut on the choice behavior of the Chilean consumer. The evaluated differentiating characteristics were: price, origin, production method, and quality assurance. A total of 750 subjects were surveyed in the following cities: Talca, Rancagua, and Santiago. Conjoint analysis was carried out to estimate the impact of the assessed attributes on the purchase decision of the consumers polled. Findings point out that the quality attribute differentiators significantly influence consumer choice behavior, with price being the least important for the majority of consumers polled (21.07% relative importance for the whole sample). In this context, the quality assurance attribute is shown as the most relevant which guides the decision-making process of beef consumers (29.75% relative importance for the whole sample). Even though some limitations are shown within this study, it must be emphasized that the results follow similar trends already described in previous research carried out in other countries. These tendencies should be considered, therefore, to establish differentiation strategy tools when designing a marketing mix focused on the domestic market.

Keywords: conjoint analysis, country of origin, animal welfare, quality assurance, differentiation, marketing.
1Universidad de Talca, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Casilla 747, Talca, Chile. *Corresponding author (pvillal@utalca.cl).