Original scientific paper

Achieving economic sustainability by eco-labelling: Case study of Croatian olive oil and foreign consumers

2022, 23 (3)   p. 692-703



Economic sustainability is often the first to be achieved in small-scale production such as olive growing and olive oil production in Croatia. Tourists occupy an important market for Croatian olive oil in terms of olive oil sales at destinations. To achieve economic sustainability, it is necessary to research the international market of olive oil, and by extension, it is necessary to explore the behaviour, perceptions, and preferences of consumers. Therefore, in this study, field research was conducted on a sample of foreign visitors during their stay at the destination, Istria and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, Croatia. A significant share of respondents sampled bought olive oil during their stay in Croatia, and the predictor variables for having done so were: extrinsic attribute eco-label on the olive oil bottle and positive perceptions toward characteristics of Croatian olive oil. On the other hand, the frequency of consumption was affected by intrinsic attributes such as olive oil taste, category, and country of origin. Running PCA analysis, three major components were identified: 1) intrinsic characteristic, 2) extrinsic characteristic, 3) price. These components were used for the purpose of market segmentation by applying a two-step cluster analysis. A total of four clusters were identified: 1) “The experts”, 2) “Indifferent consumers”, 3) “Price sensitive” and 4) “The gourmands”. For the sake of developing sustainable business of Croatian olive oil, producers shall find clusters “The experts” and “Price sensitive” to be most suitable. In addition, further efforts to increase the production of eco-certified olive oil should be taken.


Croatia, olive oil, foreign consumers, economic sustainability, eco-label

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