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Consumer demand for organic foods – attitudes, values and purchasing behaviour

Millock, Katrin; Wier, Mette and Andersen, Laura M (2004) Consumer demand for organic foods – attitudes, values and purchasing behaviour. Paper at: 13th annual EAERE Conference, Budapest, June 2004.

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In this paper, we use a unique combination of questionnaire data and real market purchase data on organic food to examine whether stated values can predict purchase behaviour. Our data cover around 2000 households during 1997-2001 and it is combined with a survey administered on the same panel in 2001. We distinguish between use values (health, taste and freshness attributes) and non-use values (environmental and animal welfare attributes). Non-use values are on average valued much more than use values according to consumers’ own statements. However, combining these consumer statements with their actual market behaviour, it becomes evident that the propensity to purchase organic increases significantly with the weight assigned to use values. We test this empirically by estimating simple logit and multinomial logit models of consumer choice dependent on stated values and individual characteristics. Stated use values increase the probability of being an organic user to a significant extent. The effect of stated non-use values is lower, but not always significant depending on food product group. Whether we consider stated willingness to pay extra taxes to finance a subsidy for organic farming or observed willingness to pay for organic products on the real market, the majority of consumers are only willing to pay if they hold both types of value.
That is, acknowledgement of non-use values can explain part of actual purchasing behaviour, but the contribution from use values is much larger. Thus, we can conclude that even though households assign the highest values to the non-use attributes when surveyed, it is the valued use attributes that make them buy organic foods.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:willingness-to-pay, organic foods, contingent valuation, non-use values, revealed versus stated preferences
Subjects:"Organics" in general
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF II (2000-2005) > III.1 (COF) Consumer demand for organic foods
Deposited By: Rosenkvist, Lars
ID Code:4754
Deposited On:03 May 2005
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:30
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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