A consumer behaviour profile of olive oil consumers in KwaZulu-Natal.
Presently in South Africa there exists a rising demand for olive oil. Within the context of increased imports, increased distribution and the introduction of different product lines of olive oil by large retailers this exploratory study investigates the consumer profile of olive oil consumers in Durban, KwaZulu Natal. The demographic variables of age, gender, income and educational level amongst Durban consumers were considered. To properly understand the olive oil purchase decisions, the aspects of consumer psychology that were considered included exposure to olive oil, preferences for types of olive oil, perception and memory recall. These psychological aspects were considered in the context of the afore-mentioned socio-demographic variables. A quantitative approach was used in this study. One hundred respondents were interviewed using the mall intercept method. Respondents answered a self-administered questionnaire which consisted of 18 questions that captured the objectives of the study. The generated data was analysed using statistical software and specifically the statistical techniques of cross tabulation and chi-square test of independence. The data attested to the fact that there was indeed a relationship between age, gender, income and educational levels amongst Durban consumers which answered the first research objective. The second research objective involved investigating the reasons for purchase and non-purchase of olive oil amongst Durban consumers. Sixty eight percent of the non-purchasers were reluctant to purchase the olive oil because of pricing issues with thirteen citing supply or availability issues. The most popular reason for purchasing olive oil was because of its health benefits followed by taste. The study also showed that the KZN market felt that insufficient exposure was given to olive oil. The typical olive oil consumer in Durban is likely to be aged between 45 to 54 years old, a female with a tertiary education and an income level between R7429 - R13 787. The study provided the broad parameters of a Durban olive oil consumer as well as his psychological purchase decision factors to enable olive oil marketers to better solidify the existing market whilst penetrating newer markets both within and beyond KwaZulu-Natal.