Investigating factors that affect consumer attitudes about organic food

by David Bradley, Inderscience Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

Researchers, publishing in the International Journal of Green Economics, have investigated the many factors that affect consumer attitudes and buying habits when it comes to organic food products. Mohd Farhan of the Mittal School of Business in Punjab, India, suggests that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led many consumers to become more aware of how the nutritional quality of the food they eat affects their health. This has led to an increased awareness of organic food products.

Farhan surveyed 600 people in India and Nepal to ascertain how food habits and consumption patterns have changed recently. He analyzed the data using Smart Partial Least Squares and Mann-Whitney tests.

The analyses revealed that safety, awareness, and trust had a positive impact on a person's inclination to consume organic food as opposed to other food products. Farhan also showed that the perceived health benefits as well as hedonic and social values were found to influence consumer attitudes towards organic food in a positive manner. This inevitably led to those consumers being more likely to buy organic food products.

The findings highlight the importance of awareness and education with regard to organic food. It is likely that demand will continue to rise in the next few years and producers and sellers need to be aware of this in order to benefit from improved awareness among their potential customers and to find ways to meet increasing demand.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought health issues to the fore the world over and many people are looking for healthier food options as part of their approach to coping with the risks surrounding the disease. Of course, it might be argued that the benefits of organic versus non-organic food products may not be as significant as is often claimed.

Nevertheless, increased food and health awareness and education will always be beneficial and those people opting for organic foods may also make other changes to their eating habits and lifestyle in the name of improving their health that will have additional, more tangible benefits.

The producers and marketers of organic foods must demonstrate the benefits of their produce honestly and show that the generally higher price is offset by associated improved health and environmental factors.

Provided by Inderscience
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