Department of Management

Elaborating on the attitude–behaviour gap regarding organic products: young Danish consumers and in-store food choice

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Abstract
Even though most consumers hold positive attitudes towards organic food, attitudes appear to translate into respective behaviour to the same extent. It has been found that the high and availability are major reasons for this attitude–behaviour gap, especially among young consumers. In Denmark, supermarkets offer a comparatively broad organic foodrange at relatively small price premiums; however, even in Denmark, market growth ratesare moderate. To explore in detail young consumer’s barriers to act upon their attitudes, we aimed at researching their thoughts and product associations at the point of sale. Qualitative accompanied shopping interviews with 10 young consumers holding positive attitudes towards organic were conducted. The analysis resulted in a model of the point-of-sale thoughts concerning organic food, showing that the conditions (expected quality, price premium) met in the store and the personal context (moral beliefs, household member influence) impact the argumentations, which lead to a choice decision and subsequent elaboration of the consequences of this choice. Price is discussed as a main barrier, but a temporary one: young consumers argue that they postpone organic purchases until a later stage in life.We conclude that to increase young Danish consumers’ choice of organic, the
high price premium image needs to be lessened and the differentiation from conventional food improved. Furthermore, communication might trigger young consumers to consider acting now upon ethical values, instead of postponing it.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Consumer Studies
Volume38
Issue5
Pages (from-to)550-558
Number of pages9
ISSN1470-6423
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Research areas

  • accompanied shopping, food choice, organic, point of sale, quantitative, youth

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