Multiple Correspondence and Hierarchical Cluster Analyses for the Profiling of Fresh Apple Customers Using Data from Two Marketplaces Bejaei, Masoumeh; Cliff, Margaret A.; Singh, Amritpal
Purchase behavior and preferences for consumers of fresh apples were investigated using a consumer survey conducted at a special-event apple market. Survey respondents were asked to list apple cultivars they had purchased at the retail market and the special-event market. The special-event market offered many uncommon cultivars packed in clear plastic bags with a fixed weight and price. Respondents were also asked to identify their reasons for selection of each apple cultivar and answer demographic questions. A total of 169 customers completed the survey. Profiles of customers were identified using multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) and hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA), and the impact of the change in available apple cultivars on consumers’ purchase behavior was explored. Consumers primarily indicated four main reasons in the selection of their apples: visual appearance, previous experience, taste/aroma, and texture. The first two reasons, evaluated before eating an apple, were loaded on the first MCA dimension, while the last two reasons (i.e., eating quality) were loaded on the second dimension in data from both marketplaces. HCA identified five classes of customers in both markets, and results indicated that similar market segments existed within the two marketplaces, regardless of the availability of apple cultivars.
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