Abstract: Blueberry plantations in Chile are oriented exclusively towards exports to northern hemisphere countries; however, this fruit has recently been introduced into the domestic market due to the increased supply and a fall in export market prices. Based on the previously mentioned, the objectives of the present study were to evaluate consumer preferences for 3 species of berries (blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries), sold loose (unpackaged) as opposed to packaged and branded, at different prices, in one of the principal blueberry producing areas of Chile; and to distinguish consumer segments by their preferences. To do this a survey was applied to 400 people in the Araucanía Region of southern Chile, who were responsible for purchasing fruit for their households. Conjoint analysis showed a preference for raspberries and strawberries over blueberries, packaged and branded, at the lowest price. Total of 2 principal segments were distinguished by cluster analysis: “price sensitive” (42.7%), who preferred strawberries, and “sensitive to species of berry” (47.5%), who preferred raspberries and strawberries. The segments presented different profiles in their demographic make-up and fruit consumption behavior. Strategies are discussed that might reverse the low acceptance of blueberries in the Chilean domestic market.
Practical Application: This study presents information on the introduction of new fresh foods into the market.