Consumer Attitudes and Purchase Intentions in Relation to Organic Foods in Peninsula Malaysia
The aim of this study is to find out the three (3) significant variables forming the positive attitude towards the buying the organic food in Peninsula Malaysia, which eventually lead to the ultimate intention in buying the organically-produced food. The different variables are focused on demographic characteristics on household income, product attributes and lastly the perceived value to the customers. This study shows that the household income is seemingly appeared to be an important predictor among the targeted segmentation in consuming organic food. Organic food attributes such as pricing, availability and environmentally friendliness of such organic food may influence consumer buying decision. Lastly, the perceived value from the customers towards organic food on its health effects, sensory appeal, nutrition-worth and belief of perceived benefits, often play an important role in cultivating the intention towards buying organic food.
Introduction and Background of the Study
Over the last two decades, there has been a remarkable increase in demand for organic-produced food or products. Organic food is often seen and marketed as health-conscious food which contains fewer contaminants, more nutrients and most importantly having a positive effect on the environment. It is known that some of these attributes are difficult to quantify, with the contrary that some of researcher has proved that they may cause such potential harm during the organic production.
The organic market back in 80’s, while remaining a niche sector, has grown to be able to grab a share from the total spending on food in some countries in the recent years. Organic fruit and vegetables are amongst the products which have been expanding in the rapid production. The demand for organically-produced meat and dairy products has undergone the same rapid progress, with a corresponding increase in the need for organically grown forage and feed crops. This has led to a fast growth in consumer demand whereby the organic food sales have managed to gain a significant market share in the conventional food industry. The market for organically produced crops and commodities has become more structured, looking at the increased number of countries which have adopted uniform standards for organic food production. The standardization has also applied in the organic certification and labelling. While both the production and the marketing of the organic cultivation of temperate crops have developed, there is a trend to be seen whereby the developing country’s farmers are actively involved in the organic farming.
Problem Statement and Importance of the Research
Organic agriculture industry, no doubt, has offers most of the developing countries a wide range of economic, environment, social and cultural benefits. Certifies organic products have now been growing fast and in the mist of entering the global market. Malaysia, on the other hand, is still in the starting spark-point in adapting the organic-food consumption while the developed countries such as North America and Europe have already gained the biggest market share in this newest industry. Due to expanding markets and attractive price premiums, Malaysia should invent and invest in organically-produced food, taking into consideration of various significant variables which may form the consumer behaviour towards organic food. We would like to highlight that the ultimate goal of this study is to understand consumer’s motivations behind organic food products purchases in order to enable organic producers to develop a more effective strategic marketing plan. The results could be used for the marketing planning of organic food products to enable proper marketing strategies, a proper sales channel and promotion to be targeted to these groups of consumers.