Agribusiness industries face a stiff competition originating mainly from the EU trade barrier’s removal and the rapidly changing marketing environment of the single European market. As a result, certain need has been identified towards the development and proper utilisation of updated market research tools and methodologies in the field of agricultural marketing.
The aim of this paper is to show the usefulness of multicriteria approach in analysing consumer’s preference data and its ability to support new product development processes by agricultural firms. The paper outlines first the philosophy of agricultural marketing by emphasizing on the features which differentiate it from general marketing . Several methodological issues in agricultural marketing are then presented through a state-of-the art survey. Then, the paper develops a consumer-based methodology to support product development decisions where the key-role is played to determine the preference model which explains a single consumer’s ranking ; a decision support system summarizes the analyses on the whole set of interviewed consumers to prescribe the " ideal " profile of a new product and to simulate its penetration strategy into the market. Results from the application of the methodology to a survey data base coming from the Paris olive oil market are presented. Finally, the paper concludes with some recommendations about marketing practice in agribusiness.
Keywords : Agricultural marketing ; multicriteria analysis ; olive oil.