ANALYSIS OF CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR IN REGARD TO DAIRY PRODUCTS IN KOSOVO Bytyqi Hysen*, Vegara Mensur**, Gjonbalaj Muje, Mehmeti Hajrip, Gjergjizi Halim, Miftari Iliriana and Bytyqi Njazi*
Consumer behaviour in Kosovo in respect of dairy products (white cheese, yoghurt, fruit yoghurt, Sharri cheese, curd and caciocavalo) was studied during 2007 using different socio-economic variables assessed by so-called evaluation criteria 1-5. The objective of study was to possibly identify effect of different variables on consumer decision upon purchase of dairy products. Dairy products were perceived differently at various types of purchasing places. The most important socio-economic variables explaining individual differences in consumer behaviours regarding purchase of dairy products involved were: trust, gender of consumer, quality, origin, and price of product. Conclusions derived from the analysis can be used as useful barometer for market orientation. The outcomes suggest that assessment of consumer behaviour through evaluation criteria can contribute to a better understanding of consumer behaviour in respect of different dairy products. With specific extension of market indicators the evaluation method used in this study may be relevant to analyze perception of consumer behaviour in regards to dairy chain and other animal products in future, in Kosovo. KEYWORDS: Milk products; consumer behaviour; quality; prices; Kosovo.
INTRODUCTION The dairy sector is most favourable sector in Kosovo contributing about 10 percent to total GDP, directly providing employment and improving rural family income. There are a lot of national and international organizations which have supported this sector in Kosovo like Swiss Government, Kosovo Cluster Business Support (KCBS-USAID), Kosovo Association of Milk Producers (KAMP), European Agency for Reconstruction - Marketing Support Project (MSP-EAR), etc. The aim was to develop the dairy sector and using fresh milk as a promoter enabling Kosovo farmers to sell their dairy products at competitive price and improve milk quality. *Department of Livestock and Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture Faculty of Prishtina, The University of Prishtina; Boulevard “Bill Clinton” nn, 10000 Prishtina – Kosovo-UNMIK. **Noragric, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB); P.O. Box 5003, N-1432 Ås, Norway. J. Agric. Res., 2008, 46(3)
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After conflict period (1999) in Kosovo, this support assisted commercial producers to improve and stabilize quality of their products in addition to double their number at local market level. They have advanced milk product choices and improved milk quality. However, marketing issue of these products remained as an underestimated factor upto now in Kosovo. During recent years producers and processors milk associations were established which now-a-days are playing important role in this sector. Effects were constructed on market and marketing research, incorporation of private contractors and suppliers and promoting public and private dialogue. Although there are visible improvements, yet a special emphasize needs to be given to whole milk processors chain as main component in dairy sector e.g. providing awards for best quality products, milk quality management at processing unit, improving fresh milk quality, introducing new and better quality milk products studying factors affecting milk and milk products and consumer(s) behaviour. Kosovo is situated in South-East part of Europe with about 2 million inhabitants. Total surface is 10.887 km2, out of which about 53 percent is arable land. The climate in Kosovo is typically semi-continental, with average annual rainfall of 631 mm and temperature of 11°C, for last 20 years. Currently, rural families in Kosovo count about 7.4 members. The farm size is small and 55 percent farms comprise 1-3 hectares. Milk production in Kosovo is based on cattle, sheep...