Perceived quality in fresh peaches: an approach through structural equation modeling
The quality requirements that consumers consider in their decision to purchase fresh fruit have garnered a great deal of attention from the actors in the fresh fruit productivity chain. This study seeks to identify attributes that could explain how a consumer of fresh peaches perceives quality. The focus on the peach was because of the limited knowledge of the signs of quality that the consumer is seeking in this fruit. As a result, the objective was to produce a model that explains the perception of the quality of fresh peaches by Spanish consumers. A theoretical model was created that explains quality using a set of intrinsic and extrinsic attributes. The information was from a survey of closed questions administered in person to a non-probabilistic sample of 192 Spanish consumers. The methodology used was structural equation modeling, with an analysis for goodness of fit using the indicators CMIN/ DF, RMR, NFI, RFI, RMSEA, and HOELTER. Thus, by adjusting the values recommended by the literature, a model was identified that explains the quality decisions of the consumers studied using two sets of attributes: intrinsic and extrinsic. Finally, significant and strong relationships were established between the perceived quality and the homogeneity of the fruit and between the perceived quality and the availability in supermarkets and fruit stores.