Consumer Attitudes and Purchase Intentions in Relation to Organic Foods

Topics: Organic food, Organic farming, Sustainable agriculture Pages: 18 (4927 words) Published: April 11, 2010
Research Proposal

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.

Research Questions


References: Bartels J. and Reinders M.J. (2009). Social identification, social representations, and consumer innovativeness in an organic food context: A cross-national comparison, Food and Quality Preferences,1-6, Elsevier Ltd.
Bou-Llusar, J.C., Camisón-Zornoza, C., Escrig-Tena, A.B., 2001, Measuring the relationship between firm perceived quality and customer satisfaction and its influence on purchase intentions, Total Quality Management, 12, 719–734.
Chen, M.F, 2007, Consumer attitudes and purchase intentions in relation to organic foods in Taiwan: Moderating effects of food-related personality traits, Food Quality and Preference 18, 1008–1021.
Chryssohoidis, G.M., Krystallis, A., 2005, Organic consumers_ personal values research: Testing and validating the list of values (LOV) scale and implementing a value-based segmentation task, Food Quality and Preference 16, 585–599.
Clark, R. A., & Goldsmith, R. E. (2006). Interpersonal influence and consumer innovativeness. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 30(1), 34–43.
Govindasamy R, Italia J. (1998). A willingness to purchase comparison of integrated pest management and conventional produce. Agribusiness.14:403-414.
Honkanen, P., Verplanken, B. & Olsen, S.O., 2006, Ethical values and motives driving organic food choice, Journal of Consumer Behaviour 5, 420–430.
Im, S., Bayus, B. L., & Mason, C. H. (2003). An empirical study of innate consumer innovativeness, personal characteristics, and new-product adoption behavior. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 31(1), 61–73.
Keillor, B. D., Hult, G. T. M., & Kandemir, D. (2004). A study of the service encounter in eight countries. Journal of International Marketing, 12, 9–35.
Lockie, S., Lyons, K., Lawrence, G., Mummery, K., 2002. Eating ‘green’: Motivations behind organic food consumption in Australia. Sociologia Ruralis 42, 23–40.
Menghi, A. (1997). Consumer Response to Ecological Milk in Sweden. Swedish Agricultural University, Uppsala.
Ness, M.R., Ness, M., Brennan, M., Oughton, E., Ritson, C., Ruto, E., 2009, Modeling consumer behavioral intentions towards food with implications for marketing quality low-input and organic food, Food Quality and Preference 21, 100–111.
Prescott, J., Young, O., O’Neill, L., Yau, N.J.N., 2002, Motives for food choice: a comparison of consumers from Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia and New Zealand. Food Quality and Preference 13, 489 - 495.
Robinson R. and Smith C. (2002). Psychosocial and Demographic Variables Associated with Consumer Intention to Purchase Sustainably Produced Foods as Defined by the Midwest Food Alliance, Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior Volume 34 (6), 316-325.
Roitner-Schobesberger ,B., Darnhofer, I. , Somsook, S., Vogl, C.R., 2008, Consumer perceptions of organic foods in Bangkok, Thailand, Food Policy 33, 112–121.
Ross NJ, Anderson MD, Goldberg JP, Rogers BL. (2000). Increasing purchases of locally grown produce through worksite sales: an ecological model. J Nutr Educ. 32:304-313.
Saher, M., Lindeman, M., Koivisto Hursti, U., 2006, Attitudes towards genetically modified and organic foods, Appetite 46, 324–331.
Schifferstein, H.N.J & Oude Ophuist, P.M.A, 1997, Health-Relatede Determinants of organic food Consumption in the Netherlands, Food Quality and Preference 9, 119-133.
Wier, M., Jensen, K., Andersen, L.M., Millock, K., 2008, The character of demand in mature organic food markets: Great Britain and Denmark compared, Food Policy 33, 406–421
Wilkins, J.L., & Hillers, V.N, 1994
Williams, P.RD., & Hammit, J.K, 2001. Perceived risks of conventional and organic produce: Pesticides, pathogens, and natural toxins. Risk Analysis, 21, 319-330.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Organic Foods Essay
  • Organic Food Essay
  • Organic Foods Essay
  • Organic Food Essay
  • Organic Food Essay
  • Organic Foods Essay
  • Organic Food Essay
  • Consumer Purchase Intention for Organic Personal Care Products Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free