Blueberry consumption and healthy lifestyles in an emerging market

Rodrigo Romo-Muñoz, Jairo Dote-Pardo, Héctor Garrido-Henríquez, Jacqueline Araneda-Flores, Jose M. Gil


Aim of study: This study focuses on the preference for and consumption habits of blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) in an emerging market. The objective is to analyze the determinants of blueberry consumption in Chile and evaluate to what extent traditional factors, such as income and price, are more determinant than other attitudinal factors and lifestyles.

Area of study: The Biobío Region (Chillán City), the second most important region in Chile.

Material and methods: A face-to-face survey is applied to a random stratified sample. The survey collected information on adoption of healthy lifestyles, knowledge of blueberries as a natural functional food, some sociodemographic characteristics, and traditional economic factors. A Heckman model is estimated by the Maximum Likelihood.

Main results: Results suggest that higher blueberry consumption is positively associated with the adoption of healthy lifestyles, a higher self-perception of healthy habits, and the recognition of blueberries as a natural functional food. The nutritional status reflected that people with a lower body mass index consume fewer blueberries. Finally, traditional factors, such as income and price, are showed to be more influential on blueberry consumption than attitudinal and lifestyle factors.

Research highlights: Chilean consumers perceive blueberries as a healthy product, which can contribute to adopt healthier lifestyles. Domestic markets should be supplied with higher quality product taking into account that the demand is price inelastic. Branding and packaging with functional claims could be an efficient strategy to increase domestic consumption.


Chile; Heckman model; healthy lifestyles; natural functional food

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2019174-14195