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Is there a promising market ‘in between’ organic and conventional food? Analysis of consumer preferences


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Janssen, Meike; Heid, Astrid and Hamm, Ulrich (2009) Is there a promising market ‘in between’ organic and conventional food? Analysis of consumer preferences. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 24 (3), pp. 205-213.

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A variety of products incorporating single aspects of organic production systems such as lower inputs of pesticides, food additives or concentrated animal feed is found on the food market (referred to as low-input products hereafter). In our study, we analysed how consumers react to low-input products in a purchase simulation with certified organic, conventional and low-input products. In the purchase simulations, each participant was asked to make three consecutive purchase decisions, one each for milk, yogurt and apples. The results of a cluster analysis revealed one cluster with a high preference for organic products and three clusters that featured considerable shares of low-input purchases. The latter clusters, however, were not characterised by a clear preference for low-input products. Rather, they bought mixed baskets of goods, i.e. low-input products in combination with either organic or conventional products. The low-input products in the categories milk, yogurt and apples did thus not necessarily attract the same groups of people. Interestingly, we found that most consumers who chose low-input products in the simulations usually buy those particular products in conventional quality. We conclude that in our study, we found a heterogeneous group of low-input buyers. For the organic sector, communicating the various aspects of organic production might be a promising strategy for gaining new customers. The low-input products in the purchase simulation only featured one special attribute, whereas organic products incorporate several.
(C)Cambridge University Press 2009

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Buying simulation; consumer preferences; organic food; low-input food
Subjects: Food systems > Markets and trade
Research affiliation: Germany > University of Kassel > Department of Agricultural- and Food Marketing
Deposited By: Janssen, Meike
ID Code:16373
Deposited On:15 Oct 2009 11:21
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:41
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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