Consumer segmentation in multi-attribute product evaluation by means of non-negatively constrained CLV3W

Véronique Cariou*, Tom F. Wilderjans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In consumer studies, segmentation has been widely applied to identify consumer subsets on the basis of their preference for a set of products. From the last decade onwards, a more comprehensive evaluation of product performance has led to take into account various information such as consumer emotion assessment or hedonic measures on several aspects, like taste, visual and flavor. This multi-attribute evaluation of products naturally yields a three-way (products by consumers by attributes) data structure. In order to identify segments of consumers on the basis of such three-way data, the Three-Way Cluster analysis around Latent Variables (CLV3W) approach (Wilderjans & Cariou, 2016) is considered. This method groups the consumers into clusters and estimates for each cluster an associated latent product variable and attribute weights, along with a set of consumer loadings, which may be used for the purpose of cluster-specific product characterization. As consumers who rate the products along the attributes in an opposite way (i.e., raters’ disagreement) should not be in the same cluster, in this paper, we propose to add a non-negativity constraint on the consumer loadings and to integrate this constraint within the versatile CLV3W approach. This non-negatively constrained criterion implies that the latent variable for each cluster is determined such that consumers within each cluster are as much related – in terms of a positive covariance – as possible with this latent product component. This approach is applied to a consumer emotion ratings dataset related to coffee aromas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-26
Number of pages9
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Acceptance patterns
  • Clustering of variables
  • Clusterwise Parafac
  • CLV
  • CLV3W
  • Consumer segmentation
  • Latent variables
  • Non-negativity
  • Three-way structure


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