BEHAVIOR OF CONSUMERS OF FRESH TOMATOES: A STUDY USING FACTOR ANALYSIS
The objective of this study was to understand the purchasing decision process of consumers of fresh tomatoes based on model proposed by Blackwell, Miniard and Engel (2013). For this purpose, a two-step research was conducted. The first phase consisted of a qualitative research, using twenty in-depth interviews in which producers, wholesalers, retailers and final consumers participated with the purpose of identifying variables to be investigated in the quantitative phase. In the second phase, a quantitative and descriptive survey was conducted, from which were obtained 415 valid questionnaires of fresh tomato consumers. The results revealed that the reasons behind the consumption of fresh tomatoes are associated with “sensory stimuli and pleasure”, or, in other words, to make the dishes aesthetically pleasing and tasteful, and for “healthiness and well-being”, because of the health benefits offered by tomato (e.g. rich in vitamins and minerals). Furthermore, the positive image that consumers create regarding fresh tomatoes and its consumption is closely linked to its use in salads and sauces. It was also observed that, among the factors considered by consumers during their purchasing decision process, the organoleptic characteristics were prominent, followed by concerns with health and the environment. Finally, consumers of fresh tomatoes tend to purchase once a week at vegetable stands and for domestic consumption.