The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the marketing management capabilities of SMEs producing traditional food products, in order to analyse the market orientation of SMEs in the food industry. Following the theoretical approach of Market Orientation, our analysis is based on an assessment of the marketing management process. The methodology
... refers to a survey developed through a questionnaire published on the web, and a sample of 371 firms based in Belgium, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic and Hungary was used in the analysis. Cluster analysis was applied to find the different levels of market orientation of the firms. The results revealed a certain lack of appropriate skills in marketing management in the firms of the sample, confirming the evidence found in economic literature concerning SMEs. Nevertheless, cluster analysis outlined a group of firms with good marketing capabilities and market oriented, and these represent a great part of the sample (40%). With regard to the stages of the marketing management process, the most problematic are those of planning and implementation, and control and evaluation, highlighting the difficulties SMEs encounter in carrying out coordinated marketing; which appears to be generally characterised by poor organisational capacity.