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Consumer preferences for the Mediterranean Diet: Results of an empirical analysis


The Mediterranean Diet is a very healthy diet for the human organism. The study focuses on consumer behavior toward products that are part of the Mediterranean Diet. The purpose of this research is to give an insight into food awareness, to improve consumer health, by highlighting the food pyramid and lifestyles related to the Mediterranean Diet, and to understand cultural customs and habits regarding food. The empirical analysis was carried out through a survey of a sample of consumers. The questionnaire, administered online, included general cultural questions on the Mediterranean Diet, food groups, individual lifestyles, and eating habits of the con-sumers interviewed. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet model, concentrated in the territories proper of the Mediterranean, leads to an agri-food model that favors the development of local agri-food products, with the consequent increase in demand for products proper to Mediterranean agriculture. This situation potentially makes it possible to expand the supply of agri-food businesses that produce products of the Mediterranean diet and thus determine a positive effect of increased income and employment in the area. The results show that this dietary regime is widely followed and can be an opportunity for Mediterranean agro-food enterprises to expand the offer and produce healthier products aimed at that segment of consumers that follow this diet to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases or to prevent and cure metabolic diseases (such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes) and to prevent obesity.