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Abstract

Structuring preferences has been developed with econometric models using functional flexible parametric form and the exploring the perceptions about expressed and latent needs using different multivariate approaches. Purpose of this research is to explore the demand for a new drink using the mean-end chain (MEC) theory and multivariate SEM procedure. The first part is dedicated to description of specialty foods for their capacity to create new niche markets. The MEC theory is introduced to explain the relations between attributes and consumers' perceptions of secondary needs revealed as benefit and values. The second part is dedicated to the empirical investigation of demand of a drink obtained from the "Olivello spinoso" a spontaneous plant. Empirical data were collected with "face to face sensorial test", and used to test the consumer perceptions for the product's attributes and preferences using the SEM approach. Conclusive remarks are in terms of suggestions about the modification of the product's attributes to increase the demand.

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