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Consumers' Perceptions of Organic Foods in Bulgaria: Evidence from Semantic Differentials Application

Vasileva, Elka; Ivanova, Daniela; Zabunov, Georgi; Tipova, Nina and Stefanov, Stiliyan (2014) Consumers' Perceptions of Organic Foods in Bulgaria: Evidence from Semantic Differentials Application. In: Rahmann, G. and Aksoy, U. (Eds.) Building Organic Bridges, Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, Braunschweig, Germany, 1, Thuenen Report, no. 20, pp. 89-92.

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The main tendency for most countries in Central and Eastern Europe is their organic production to be developed mainly for the purpose of export. This leads to the impossibility for organic products to be adapted to the local market and their price happens to be too high for consumers from these countries. The solution to this is the quick development and expansion of the domestic market for organic agricultural products and foods.
The market of organic products in Bulgaria enlarged significantly in the last few years. Although the share of organic food products in the general food market in the country is relatively small - less than 5 %, the total area under organic products in Bulgaria (cultivated and wild collected) is more than 250 thousand. The consumer decision-making with regard to organic food products is considered to be one of the priorities for development of the organic agricultural sector and market.
In order to promote marketing possibilities for organic foods, it is important that we understand how consumers perceive the quality and safety attributes of organic products. The article aims to present consumers’ perception of Bulgarian organic foods (Bulgarian yoghurt case) by applying the method of semantic differentials.
The empirical study is framed by the focus-groups and semantic differential approaches. The first stage of the survey (5 sessions) was carried out in the towns with the most developed market of organic foods in the country (Sofia and Plovdiv). They were conducted in the period May – June 2009. A total number of 46 people participated in the focus-groups. The second stage of the study tests the consumers’ perception of quality and safety attributes of Bulgarian yoghurt by the semantic differential method. Data were collected during April and May 2011 in Sofia. The target population of 84 bulgarians included consumers who are knowledgeable about organic foods and regularly buy organic yogurt.
Principal component analysis with varimax rotations extracted six factors for these results and each of them groups around it specific concepts of the bipolar scales used in the study. They are used to build the picture of the perceptions of the respondents regarding the quality and safety of the studied products. The interpretation of the importance of the factors is done by clarifying the semantic relations between the underlying concepts (descriptors).

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:Organic foods, Bulgarian yoghurt, Consumers’ perceptions, Bulgaria
Agrovoc keywords:
Organic foods
Consumer surveys
Consumer behaviour
Subjects:"Organics" in general
Values, standards and certification > Consumer issues
Values, standards and certification > Evaluation of inputs
Research affiliation: Bulgaria > Other institutions
International Conferences > 2014: 18th IFOAM OWC Scientific Track: 4th ISOFAR Scientific Conference
Deposited By: Vasileva, Elka
ID Code:22698
Deposited On:15 Oct 2014 10:33
Last Modified:15 Oct 2014 10:33
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted
Additional Publishing Information:urn:nbn:de:gbv:253-201407-dn053621-1

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