Exploring shopping behaviour to improve marketing of organic fruits

David Pearson

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    1 Citation (Scopus)
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    The aim of this research was to facilitate the continued growth of the organic sector by investigating why some buyers chose organic products and others chose non-organic products. A decision process model to explore this choice for fresh fruits was developed from the existing literature and modified on the basis of the results from 20 in-depth interviews. Subsequently 300 useable responses were obtained from a questionnaire randomly distributed in one city in Australia where there was a wide range of organic fruit products available. Fresh fruits were found to be frequent, low value purchases, with most people buying weekly and spending just less than $A2 (€1.5) per person per week. A small number of products account for the majority of expenditure, with the top ten accounting for almost 90%. Most food buyers used a fruit barn as their main source and topped up at a supermarket, purchasing from both on a weekly basis. The choice method used to purchase individual products varied, with non-seasonal fruits generally being purchased as staples and seasonal fruits as a treat. Impulse purchases are common for products where hedonic attributes are important such as fruit, and especially seasonal fruit. Most fruits were not seen as destination products (a planned purchase where the buyer is prepared to make a special effort to purchase it), and substitute products were readily available. The identification of organic food buyers remained elusive as they were spread throughout the community in which they comprised a significant 37%. However, with an overall market share of around 1.5%, it is evident that most of them only purchased organic food occasionally. The reasons that they chose organic food were principally related to the hedonic attributes of health and taste. Concern for the environment was of less importance.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)45-56
    Number of pages12
    JournalActa Horticulturae
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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