Contribution from purchase frequency to understanding organic food consumers

David PEARSON, Joanna HENRYKS, Parves Sultan, Tatiana Anisimova

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contributionpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


In order to identify some of the barriers preventing the expansion of the organic market, this paper reviews the current literature on consumers’ buying behaviour in relation to organic food. This reveals a significant disparity between consumers’ positive attitudes towards organic food and their low levels of actual purchasing, yet fails to provide conclusive evidence regarding the reasons for this attitude-behaviour gap. The aim of this paper is to investigate whether an analysis of frequency of organic food purchases will provide insights into the reasons for this. Results indicate that buyers vary in their frequency of organic food purchases, from a relatively small proportion of consumers who purchase it regularly – at least once per week (around one in ten) to many who have never purchased it (around one in four). Most organic food buyers are partnered (70%), many are from lower income households (30%), and a large number (20%) have been purchasing for less than one year. And finally those who purchase organic products more frequently place higher importance on the attributes that differentiate organic products from alternatives, namely environment, health and product quality. From the perspective of expanding sales in the organic market the key challenge appears to be finding ways to convince existing consumers to purchase more organic products. Persuasive and targeted marketing communications will assist in achieving this, however structural issues in the organic industry, such as its massive diversity; in range in products, geographic spread and size of operations, make it hard to present consistent marketing communication messages.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConference Proceedings: Part 1: International Food Marketing Research Symposium
Editors Stanton, Lang, Laszlo
Place of PublicationPhiladelphia
PublisherInstitute of Food Products Marketing
Number of pages19
VolumePart 1
ISBN (Print)9780985608019
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventInternational Food Marketing Conference - Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
Duration: 20 Jun 201321 Jun 2013


ConferenceInternational Food Marketing Conference


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