Consumer’s Perception and Purchase Intentions
Towards Organic Food Products:
Christ University Institute of Management
According to Wier and Calverley (2002), consumer interest in organic food products has grown tremendously in many industrialized countries during the past ten years. It is observed that the organic food products is also one of the fastest growing areas of the food market in Europe, Northern America, Australia and Japan with sales being in excess of $114.5 billion in 1999 (Makatouni, 2002).
Today, organic consumption is closely associated not only with health concerns, but also with social, economic and ecological sustainability. Agricultural and food industry experts agree that the peak of the organic food products trend has not yet been reached and there is still plenty of international growth potential in the organic market (Ebrahimi, 2007).
A survey by The Nielson Company in 2005 showed that more than 60 per cent of Singaporean claimed to consume organic food products and the majority cited personal health as their main motivation (The Straits Times (Singapore), November 21, 2007).
According to Schlegelmilch, Bohlen and Diamantopoulos (1996), socio-demographics have been the most widely used variable for profiling purposes due to the relative ease where it can be measured and applied. This is supported by Bagozzi, et al. (1998) where he agreed that demographic variables; age, gender, household income and family size are commonly used by marketers to segment market. Furthermore, they are standard and readily available and marketers believe that consumer behaviours are highly related to these variables (as cited in Greenwell, Fink and Pastone, 2002, p.233).
An analysis of literature suggests that, among psychographic variables, concern about health, food safety, impact on the environment and animal welfare as the key reasons why consumers purchase organic food products (e.g. Mintel, 1999; Soil Association, 2000, as cited in Harper and Makatouni, 2000, p.287).
1.1 Research objective
Consumer interest in organic food products has grown enormously during the past ten years in many industrialized countries. This study attempted - To gain knowledge about consumer attitude towards organic food products consumption. - To see whether there is any potential for consumer to change their behaviour. This is because before any behaviour can be changes, it is necessary to evaluate the current state of consumer awareness and knowledge. The link between attitude, intention and behaviour has been explained by Ajzen (1985, 1988), Ajzen and Fishbein (1980). This theory is based on assumptions that a person’s intentions are a function of a certain beliefs. Some of these beliefs influence the person’s attitude toward the behaviour. Specifically, his attitude towards performing a given behaviour is related to his beliefs that performing the behaviour will lead to a certain outcomes. Thus, customers who have more positive beliefs about purchasing organic food products will have more positive attitudes towards their organic purchase.
Moreover, Sparks and Shepherd (1992) found the theory of planned behaviour models have been proven useful in explaining and predicting purchase behaviour for organic products. Consumers are among those who have made their purchases along with organic food products, consumer who never purchase any organic product and those who just got an intention to buy organic food products. It is necessary to analyse the consumption behaviour or consumer which are related to increased consumer demand for organic food products. Particularly, there are some potential social-demographic differences among consumer in the belief and consumption behaviour towards organic food products (Lockie et al., 2002; Lea and Worsley, 2005).
In order to promote organic food products,...
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