Quality Function Deployment (QFD) in the Spanish olive oil sector

Competitiveness and sustainability of the olive-oil sector are strongly associated with the satisfaction of customer demand and preferences towards quality, safety, and environmental issues. In product design and development, Quality Function Deployment (QFD) provides a comprehensive, systematic approach to ensure agrifood products meet or exceed customer expectations. QFD can be a powerful tool because it can reduce time to market, improve quality, and enhance customer satisfaction. Although QFD has been used in the food industry since 1987, no application has been found in the case of olive oil. In this study, after identifying customer needs or requirements of different attributes of quality olive oil, by a survey to 439 respondents to determine preference and consumption behaviour, agricultural practices that optimally satisfy these preferences were determined, through a Quality Function Deployment (QFD) model using expert knowledge. The use of the correlation matrix and then the construction of the "House of Quality" (HOQ), the relative contribution of each of these practices that most satisfy customer needs and desires were designed. These matrices are used to translate higher-level “Whats” or needs into lower-level “Hows” – agronomical practices (technical characteristics) to satisfy these needs. The findings are helpful for designing agricultural policies and marketing strategies to improve sustainability and competitiveness of Spanish olive oil.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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