Department of Management

How important is country-of-origin for organic food consumers? A review of the literature and suggestions for future research

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on the country-of-origin (COO) effect in the context of organic food and develop suggestions for further research in this area. Research has investigated COO effects and consumer responses to organic food, but there is little research on the combination of the two. Design/methodology/approach – A narrative review of two research streams and their intersection, forming the basis for the development of a research agenda.
Findings – There are few studies analysing the possible interaction between the effects of organic and COO on consumers’ food preferences and choices. In general, COO seems to lose impact when other quality cues are salient. This suggests a lower impact of COO for organic than for conventional food products. However, there is still no research on the possible impact of organic labelling in categories where products from a foreign country are able to demand a premium, and little is known about consumer preferences for different import countries regarding organic food. Six potential future research directions are suggested.
Research limitations/implications – There is a need for research that more systematically investigates the possible interactions between COO and organic labelling on consumers’ food product preferences and choices. A research agenda is suggested as a starting point.
Originality/value – This literature review highlights the lack of research on the interaction between COO effects and consumer responses to organic food. The literature review creates a basis for future research and a possible research agenda is suggested.
Keywords Organic foods, Country-of-origin, Consumer perception Paper type Literature review
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Food Journal
Pages (from-to)542-557
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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