You are on page 1of 15

The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at

www.emeraldinsight.com/0007-070X.htm

BFJ
112,8 Factors influencing organic
food purchase in India expert
survey insights
902
Somnath Chakrabarti
Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad, India

Abstract
Purpose The paper aims to document the findings of an expert survey in the organic food category
in India. It seeks to highlight the relative importance attached by the experts to key explanatory
variables in the consumers purchase process of organic food. It attempts to integrate with the relevant
consumer survey findings published in India in recent times in organic food category.
Design/methodology/approach The list of experts was prepared by including regular and
well-known speakers in different agri enclaves and summits and who are members of different food
industry bodies. Experts were contacted through judgmental sampling method. Feedback on the
expert questionnaires was collected from July to October 2007 from 33 highly knowledgeable senior
experts primarily through face-to-face personal surveys and through e-mail surveys.
Findings Importance placed on health motivation has the highest average rating and is one of the
lowest standard deviations among the explanatory variables in the expert survey. Experts also rate
the importance of the three mentioned attitudes (about conviction about utility of organic food,
reputation of store and certification process-related information), organic food-specific consumer
innovativeness, organic food-specific consumer opinion leadership, word of mouth (WOM) (activity),
WOM (praise) and affective commitment about the store to be high in the consumers purchase
process.
Originality/value The novelty of the paper lies in the fact that it addresses the key issues facing
the organic food category in India from an expert survey point of view.
Keywords Organic foods, Buying behaviour, India
Paper type Research paper

Introduction
Consumers worldwide are becoming increasingly concerned about nutrition, health
and the quality of their food (Gil et al., 2000). One of the key ways that environment and
health consciousness is getting reflected is through consumers increased interest in
organic food (von Alvensleben, 1998). More than 140 countries are now producing
certified organic food with 32.2 million hectares of agricultural land being managed
organically globally by more than 1.2 million producers (Willer and Kilcher, 2009).
Global sales of organic products have reached US $46.1 billion in 2007 (Willer and
Kilcher, 2009).
Schlegelmilch et al. (1996) indicate that the increase in environmental consciousness
has had profound impact on consumer behavior whereby the green product is
expanding at a fast pace. Organic food markets are evolving at markedly different
British Food Journal rates. Fotopoulos and Krystallis (2002) indicate that Greek organic market although
Vol. 112 No. 8, 2010
pp. 902-915
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited
0007-070X
The author has benefitted from the valuable suggestions of Professor Rajat K. Baisya, Professor
DOI 10.1108/00070701011067497 of Marketing and Strategic Management, Department of Management Studies, IIT Delhi, India.
more mature than earlier is still lagging a decade behind the rest of the developed Organic food
organic markets. In the same vein, British and German markets have developed at purchase
different pace though consumers there appear to hold very similar attitudes and beliefs
regarding organic foods (Baker et al., 2004). This necessitates the need to study key in India
aspects of organic food purchase in an emerging market like India given that about
one-third of worlds organically managed land is in developing countries (Willer and
Kilcher, 2009). 903
India is one of the countries with the largest area under organic management along
with Argentina, Brazil, China and Uruguay (Willer and Kilcher, 2009). The size of
organic agricultural land has reached 1.03 million hectares in India in 2007, of which
455,568 hectares are fully converted and the rest is under conversion (Menon, 2009).
Local markets have taken off in many of the big cities of south and eastern part of Asia,
and Delhi and Bangalore are some of the Indian cities which are witnessing enhanced
internal consumption of organic products (Willer and Kilcher, 2009). The domestic
market is driving organic production in India and 96.7 per cent of Indias 5,85,000 MT
of certified organic products produced in 2007-2008 is used in domestic markets.
An eight-city survey in 2006 has indicated a potential demand to the tune of INR
5.6 billion for organic products in India (Mukherjee, 2008).
Country-specific research indicates that Indians are amongst the top ten buyers of
foods with health supplements globally but lack access to organic food products
(ACNielsen, 2006). It highlights that Indians are keen to purchase organic food for their
children but the category suffers from poor availability and premium price perception.
Organic food market in India is still at a nascent stage, however, some research has been
carried out to understand buying behavior of organic food purchasers. Researchers in
Indian context have identified that relevant personality constructs and associated
dimensions and key purchase motivations and attitudes may be used effectively in
consumer survey to understand purchase behavior in an environment-friendly category
like organic food (Chakrabarti and Baisya, 2007, 2009).
The introduction section in this paper is followed by state-of-the-art (literature) and
conclusions for further surveys (gaps). The literature part is very compact and has been
confined to what is relevant for the focus of the survey with clear conclusions about what
is known and highlighting subsequently what are the deficits (gap) that justify the new
survey. This is followed by the discussion of the experimental part.

State-of-the-art literature
The brief literature review highlights below linkages between food category purchase
and different relevant variables in line with what has been explained in Chakrabarti
and Baisya (2007, 2009) papers in detail.

Linkages with personality constructs and associated dimensions


Linkages with consumer innovativeness. Studies internationally have applied consumer
innovativeness construct in food category (Donnelly, 1970; Goldsmith et al., 1998,
Goldsmith, 2000). Tellis et al. (2004) have chosen organically grown fruit as one of the
11 categories for the study of consumer innovativeness in their study in the first stage of
questionnaire development. Similarly, in their study, in the pretest of category-specific
innovativeness and in the fourth stage of pretest of final questionnaire, food and grocery
products have been chosen as one of the identified product classes.
BFJ Linkages with opinion leadership. In one of the earlier studies of the diffusion of a
112,8 new product, Arndt (1967) has found that interpersonal communication about the new
food product frequently has led to its initial purchase. Research has looked upon organic
food purchase behavior as a part of broader green purchase behavior or
environment-friendly behavior (Schlegelmilch et al., 1996) and thoughts have been
propagated in international context by researchers who indicate that green or
904 environment-friendly category might be especially appropriate for a study of opinion
leadership (Piirto, 1992; Flynn et al., 1996).
Linkages with other related dimensions. Chakrabarti and Baisya (2009) have studied
both the aspects of consumer as a user and consumer as a provider of word of mouth
(WOM) besides using consumer innovativeness and opinion leadership constructs in
organic food category. Feedback from two personal sources of friends and
family/relatives and also from office colleagues have been used for understanding
importance placed on the positive communication received from theses sources. Other
WOM-related variables like WOM (sent) through WOM (activity) and WOM (praise) and
affective commitment towards the store of regular purchase have been used in
understanding the consumer adoption process in the category in line with existing
research (Harrison-Walker, 2001). Among the perceived risk variables, their research
has showed that respondents associate primarily financial and performance risks with
this category.

Linkages with relevant consumer purchase motivations and attitudes


Linkages with purchase motivations. Consumer surveys have shown that health is a
major motive for buying organic foods (Ekelund, 1989; Tregear et al., 1994; Huang, 1996;
Wandel and Bugge, 1997; von Alvensleben, 1998; Schifferstein and Oude Ophuis, 1998).
Health concern is often found to be the most important factor motivating organic food
purchase (Makatouni, 2002; Fotopoulos and Krystallis, 2002; Harper and Makatouni,
2002; Lockie et al., 2002; Magnusson et al., 2003; Botonaki et al., 2006). Motivation to look
after unwell family members is also indicated as one of the key motivations for organic
food purchase (Makatouni, 2002; Padel and Foster, 2005). Other motivations of nutrition,
taste, curiosity and the need to protect environment have been mentioned in key
international research (Tregear et al., 1994; Davies et al., 1995; Grunert and Juhl, 1995;
Magnusson et al., 2001; Chinnici et al., 2002).
Linkages with attitudes relevant in purchase process. Conviction about utility of
organic food is important in purchase process in line with previous research on
hierarchy of effects (Lavidge and Steiner, 1961) and on the influence of personal
influence under this effect (Gatignon and Robertson, 1985). Relevant research in this
area also includes prediction of behaviors from intentions (Ajzen, 1991). Hill and
Lynchehaun (2002) highlight that knowledge and education of target audience appear
to be central for the effective marketing of organic milk and Choo et al. (2004) observe
that attitudes have significant effect on behavioral intentions among Indian consumers
for new food product purchasing behavior.
Reputation of store and associated people has been an important parameter given
that previous research indicates that store name is a particularly important extrinsic cue
for consumers in developing store-based inferences and overall evaluations (Dodds et al.,
1991; Bharadwaj et al., 1993). Krystallis and Chryssohoidis (2005) indicate that two
factors of quality and security and trust play an important role in defining willing to pay Organic food
for most organic food categories. purchase
Certification process-related information is an important parameter in the research in
organic food category (Misra et al., 1991; Michelsen et al., 1999; Gaskell, 2000; Reisch, in India
2001; Krystallis and Chryssohoidis, 2005; Drichoutis et al., 2006). A total of 481
organizations worldwide provide organic certification services (Willer and Kilcher,
2009). In Indian context, experts believe that certification of organic products is 905
necessary (Sarkar, 2005). In line with mentioned research, importance attached by
consumers to the six motivations of health, curiosity, nutrition, taste, the need to protect
environment and the need to look after unwell people and to three attitudes in terms of
importance attached to conviction about utility of organic food, to reputation of store
and associated people and to certification process-related information have been
highlighted for understanding the adoption process in the category (Chakrabarti and
Baisya, 2007). The discussion on literature review concludes in the following section
that briefly highlights the international research focusing on the factors limiting regular
organic food usage.
Factors limiting regular organic food usage. Internationally, there are factors found
to limit organic food choices and consumption. They include high price, limited
availability, satisfaction with conventional food, lack of trust and lack of perceived value
(Davies et al., 1995; Fotopoulos and Krystallis, 2002). Price continues to be cited as the
main reason for not buying organic food, despite a slight shift in this trend recently
(MINTEL, 2000). A study focusing on the limiting factors in Indian context in organic
food may add a lot of insights. The next section covers the research gaps in consumer
purchase of organic food in India.

Gaps from consumer surveys and scope of the expert survey in India
There is lack of research in India on the expert opinion front about the relative
importance attached by the experts to the chosen metric explanatory variables in the
consumers purchase process of organic food. There is a need to carry out an expert
survey in the area that may attempt to integrate with the relevant consumer survey
findings (Chakrabarti and Baisya, 2007, 2009). This can be quite relevant for marketers
given India has one of the highest numbers of organic producers among all the
countries (Willer and Kilcher, 2009).
The correlation of importance attached to conviction of the consumer about the utility
of organic food with number of categories purchased is significant and positive for
occasional buyers (Chakrabarti and Baisya, 2007). Also, the rating for conviction about
utility of organic food is the strongest among the three mentioned attitudes considered
for both regular and occasional buyers (Chakrabarti and Baisya, 2007). Hence, there is a
need to understand in expert survey the ways marketers may create desirable level of
awareness among the consumers of this category.
As the number of categories purchased by regular buyers is highly correlated with
domain-specific innovativeness score, the main marketing effort of retailers should be
targeted at the innovators and early adopters of the category (Chakrabarti and Baisya,
2009). However, there is lack of an in-depth understanding about the focus areas for
marketers for targeting the innovators and opinion leaders of the category.
Also, consumer research has found that the affective commitment level of regular
buyers is higher than that of occasional buyers in a statistically significant manner and
BFJ this construct is the most important differentiator between the two groups of regular
112,8 and occasional buyers (Chakrabarti and Baisya, 2009). This indicates that marketers
have to develop a detailed understanding about antecedents of the affective
commitment of regular buyers though very little research is available internationally in
this area.
Perceived performance risk has been included as an important variable in the
906 consumer research for the organic food purchase in India (Chakrabarti and Baisya,
2009). Expert survey needs to focus on the importance of specific marketer action points
that can mitigate the perceived performance risk of consumers.
There is lack of expert survey about the parameters limiting more regular usage of
organic food and about the associated marketer action points. Hence, based on the
research gaps, this paper focuses on obtaining expert opinions in the category on:
.
understanding the relative importance attached to the chosen metric explanatory
variables (as identified in Chakrabarti and Baisya (2007, 2009) research) in the
consumers purchase process in organic food;
.
marketer action points for awareness generation among purchasers;
.
marketer action points for targeting innovators and opinion leaders;
.
marketer action points for creating affective commitment among regular buyers;
.
marketer action points for mitigating performance risk; and
.
understanding the factors constraining more regular usage in the category.

Methodology of expert survey


The relative importance attached to the chosen metric explanatory variables in the
consumers purchase process in organic food is provided through rating of experts
(expert opinion). This list of experts has been prepared by including the ones who are
regular and well-known speakers in different agri enclaves and summits and who are
members of different food industry bodies. Experts have been contacted through
judgmental sampling method. Feedback on the expert questionnaires (provided in the
Appendix) has been collected from July to October 2007 from 33 highly knowledgeable
senior experts primarily through face-to-face personal surveys and through e-mail
surveys. A few of the respondents have given their responses through telephonic
surveys also.
The breakup of expert responses consists of three people from government sector
(two from the Ministry of Food Processing Industries and one from the Agricultural
and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority). Seven respondents
have been chosen from large agro business companies/agro divisions of diversified
companies like ITC Ltd, DCM Shriram Consolidated Ltd, AWB (Australian Wheat
Board earlier) India Ltd, E.I. Dupont Ltd joint venture The Solae Company, Nunhems
India Ltd, The Global Green Company and Global Agri Systems. Respondents also
include six consultants working on agro businesses from different companies like Rabo
India Finance, International Food Policy Research Institute, All India Food Processors
Association, The Energy and Resources Institute, etc. Other respondents include four
brand management consultants knowledgeable in agro industries, four people from
academics and research including Ex Advisor Council of Scientific and Industrial
Research and consultant from National Horticulture Mission, five respondents from
small and medium food processors like Grewals Organic, Atik Organics, etc. and four Organic food
experts from food retailing business of Fabindia, Whole Foods and Pantaloon Retail. purchase
The questionnaire for the expert interview has involved a mix of structured
(standardized) and open, half-structured questions. Questions 1 and 2 together have in India
asked from the experts about their evaluations of the relative importance of mentioned
19 variables in the consumers purchase process on a 1-5 scale. Experts in the category
have attempted to address action points for marketers. Expert opinions have been 907
sought on the platform for awareness creation among buyers (question 3) and on the
need to target innovators and opinion leaders in the category (question 4). Expert
feedback has been gathered about focus areas for marketers for building affective
commitment among regular buyers (question 5), about action points for mitigating
performance risk (question 6) and about factors constraining more regular usage in the
category (question 7). The interviews have been analyzed to depict mean and standard
deviation figures for structured questions and the essence of the qualitative replies of the
majority of the experts has been highlighted for open, half-structured questions.

Expert survey results


Experts provide rating and feedback (expert opinion) about the relative importance of
the chosen 19 metric explanatory variables in the consumers purchase process in
organic food. It is displayed in Table I in the descending order of average rating of metric
variables. The ratings provided for variables on 1-5 scale (1 very unimportant;
5 very important) include average rating of the experts opinion and standard
deviation.
Importance placed on health motivation has the highest average rating of 4.7 and one
of the lowest standard deviations (Table I). Experts view the importance of the three

Parameter Avg. rating SD

Health 4.7 0.65


Importance attached to reputation of the store 4.2 0.82
Conviction about utility 4.2 0.85
Organic food category-specific opinion leadership 4.2 0.76
WOM (activity) for the store 4.1 0.64
Affective commitment towards the store 4.0 0.88
Importance attached to certification 4.0 0.93
Organic food category-specific innovativeness 4.0 0.87
WOM (praise) for the store 4.0 0.79
Protect environment 3.7 1.10
Importance attached to WOM (friends) 3.7 0.97
Importance attached to WOM (family/relative) 3.6 1.07
Nutrition 3.6 0.86
Importance attached to WOM (office colleagues) 3.5 0.88
Perceived financial risk 3.4 1.14
Taste 3.4 1.25
Perceived performance risk 3.2 1.04 Table I.
Curiosity 2.8 1.11 Expert opinion on
Look after unwell people 2.4 1.25 importance of variables
in consumers purchase
Note: Rating on 1-5 scale with 1 very unimportant, 5 very important process
BFJ mentioned attitudes (conviction, reputation and certification), organic food-specific
112,8 consumer innovativeness, organic food-specific consumer opinion leadership, WOM
(activity), WOM (praise) and affective commitment (along with health motivation) to be
high in the consumers purchase process and these variables get an average rating of
4.0 or above. Opinion leadership gets higher rating and lower standard deviation
compared to the same for innovativeness in expert survey. Variables like curiosity and
908 the motivation of need to look after unwell people have received average ratings of
less than 3.0 and are not considered that important by experts in the consumers
purchase process.
The expert survey provides major action points for marketers in the areas of
awareness creation, targeting innovators and opinion leaders, finding out the
antecedents of affective commitment of regular buyers, mitigating perceived
performance risk and identifying factors constraining more regular usage in the
category. These areas of expert survey are mentioned in detail below.

Creation of awareness about the category for consumers


The experts in the survey overwhelmingly agree about the need to create awareness
about the category in the market. This aspect is important in Indian context as
Choo et al. (2004) have found that Indian consumers hold more favorable attitudes, hold
greater intention to buy and purchase more when they are more familiar with a
processed food.
About 64 per cent of experts in this research specifically cite about health and
nutrition platform when asked about the platform of awareness creation. About
21 per cent of experts cite the environment-friendly aspect of organic foods in the
context of awareness creation. In terms of health and nutrition platform, the experts
view that benefits emanate specially from the fact that no pesticide, chemical, fertilizer
or genetically modified products are used in the organic food production process. Also,
the fact that artificial preservative and color additives are not added in the process is
mentioned as the relevant benefit.
The two most important methods cited by experts for creating awareness in the
category include advertising and events. Advertising may be carried out through
brochures, booklets, posters and leaflets. Events may be carried out through food
festivals and through activities directed to communities. Marketers need to make
presentations on organic foods through stalls in group housing societies and need to
organize school- and college-level competitions on health platform for awareness
creation. Also, a few experts have mentioned that marketers need to advertise through
focused print and broadcast advertising and through attractive packaging. Marketers
also need to complement the main methods through public relation techniques like
seminars and sales promotion techniques like demonstrations, fairs and trade shows.
Sometimes, marketers also need to organize in shop activity, tasting and sampling
sessions.

Targeting innovators and opinion leaders


Many marketers develop communication strategies for identifying, targeting and
influencing opinion leaders as part of their total marketing campaigns. About 64 per cent
of experts have responded positively to the need to tap innovators and opinion leaders
in this category. Experts view that health advisors like doctors and nutritionists may act
as the professional opinion leaders for the category and they may exert formal influences Organic food
upon patients in WOM conversation. Specifically, doctors in maternity homes and purchase
nursing homes may be targeted for prescribing organic food to the patients. Experts feel
the need to get endorsement from opinion leaders from local communities and view that in India
visit to the retailer stores by neighborhood doctors occasionally may help in the
awareness generation process. Other ideas from experts include the need to involve
health food experts and experts in yoga centers among others who also may act as 909
opinion leaders. Marketers need to give local examples, cite trial results and need to
attempt to ensure if experts can write in local magazines for dissemination of
category-related information.
Personal commitment and passion of the marketers in understanding the intricacies
of organic farming is also important in convincing this group. Marketers need to bring
new concepts from other health-related products and categories in order to effectively
market this category. Test marketing should start from this group and organic food
needs to be promoted as a way of life to this group. Marketers need to provide credible
handouts, benefit brochures and certification for organic foods to innovators and
opinion leaders for effective communication. Study of shopping basket and personalized
selling is required in attracting these people. Setting up some shops in the vicinity of
higher income localities is desirable. Association with health clubs, finishing schools
and gourmet clubs may help in tapping the innovators and opinion leaders more
effectively.

Antecedents of affective commitment of regular buyers


The key marketer action points for creating affective commitment among regular
buyers include better price competitiveness with conventional food through negotiation
with farmers (70 per cent of experts citing it), personalized attention (42 per cent), regular
availability (including freshness of produce) (36 per cent), organic choices in more food
categories (including range and fill rates) (24 per cent), keeping an exclusive section with
prime display in diversified food supermarkets (21 per cent) and service reliability
primarily through trained and knowledgeable sales people (12 per cent). The cited
different dimensions of personalized attention (the factor evoking most diverse range of
ideas) to regular buyers are given below.
Providing personalized attention may require frequent direct communication about
new products. Monthly newsletters may be sent to patrons highlighting recipes using
organic food products. Other desirable activities may include holding expert sessions in
the world of organic food, providing information about complete chain of activities of
organic farming and creating experiences by organizing visits of regular buyers to
organic farms. Personalized attention may include marketers recommending organic
foods to people known to have health problems and keeping track of their health.
Marketers may also need to provide convenient and free home delivery, an open return
policy and loyalty programmes and cards as part of personalized attention policy.

Mitigating performance risk


The performance risk in the category can be addressed through the reliability-related
issues and the three major dimensions of reliability cited in this context are certification,
quality consistency of supply and dependability of regular supply. Experts highlight the
need to emphasize transparency regarding production, source, systems, etc.
BFJ Factors constraining more regular usage
112,8 Experts give high price a rating of 4.3 and limited availability a rating of 3.8 (on a 1-5 scale
with 1 being very low importance constraint and 5 being very high importance constraint)
in limiting more usage of organic food by regular buyers. In addition, a few experts have
also mentioned lack of awareness, the relatively unattractive look of organic foods, lack of
attractive labels and packaging, lack of a complete range in organic food, lack of
910 infrastructure of food processing at village level, lack of any immediate visible benefit and
lack of credibility of certification as other constraining factors.

Conclusions
The expert survey in organic food category involving 33 senior and knowledgeable
experts from the agri and food industry delivers some new and significant information
for India. It helps to better understand consumers attitudes towards the purchase and
consumption of organic food. The findings are relevant for the future development of
organic food markets in India and can help to better position organic food products
among consumers. It highlights the relative importance attached by the experts to key
explanatory variables in the consumers purchase process of organic food. It has
attempted to integrate with the relevant recent consumer survey findings published in
India in the category.
Importance placed on health motivation has the highest average rating and one of the
lowest standard deviations. Experts view the importance of the three mentioned
attitudes (conviction, reputation and certification), organic food-specific consumer
innovativeness, organic food-specific consumer opinion leadership, WOM (activity),
WOM (praise) and affective commitment about the store from where purchase is
normally made to be high in the consumers purchase process. Opinion leadership gets
higher rating and lower standard deviation compared to the same for innovativeness in
expert survey.
The expert survey provides major action points for marketers in the areas of
awareness creation, targeting innovators and opinion leaders, finding out the
antecedents of affective commitment of regular buyers, mitigating perceived
performance risk and identifying factors constraining more regular usage in the
category.
The experts in the survey overwhelmingly agree about the need to create awareness
about the category in the market. Majority of experts in this research specifically cite
about health and nutrition platform when asked about the platform of awareness
creation. Majority of experts have also responded positively to the need to tap innovators
and opinion leaders in this category. Experts view that health advisors like doctors and
nutritionists may act as the professional opinion leaders for the category and they may
exert formal influences upon patients in WOM conversation.
The key marketer action points for creating affective commitment among regular
buyers include better price competitiveness with conventional food through
negotiation with farmers, personalized attention, regular availability, organic choices
in more food categories, keeping an exclusive section with prime display in diversified
food supermarkets and service reliability primarily through trained and
knowledgeable sales people.
The performance risk in the category can be addressed through the reliability-related
issues and the three major dimensions of reliability cited in this context are certification,
quality consistency of supply and dependability of regular supply. Experts think high Organic food
price and limited availability are primarily responsible in limiting more usage of organic purchase
food by regular buyers.
in India
References
ACNielsen (2006), Indians amongst the top 10 buyers of foods with health supplements
globally but lack access to organic food products, 20 February, avaliable at: www.acniels
911
en.co.in/news/20060220.shtml (accessed 15 December 2006).
Ajzen, I. (1991), The theory of planned behavior, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision
Processes, Vol. 50, pp. 179-211.
Arndt, J. (1967), The role of product-related conversation in the diffusion of a new product,
Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 4, pp. 291-5.
Baker, S., Thompson, K.E. and Engelken, J. (2004), Mapping the values driving organic food
choice: Germany vs. the UK, European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 38 No. 8, pp. 995-1012.
Bharadwaj, S.G., Varadarajan, P.R. and Fahy, J. (1993), Sustainable competitive advantage in
service industries: a conceptual model and research propositions, Journal of Marketing,
Vol. 47, pp. 83-99.
Botonaki, A., Polymeros, K., Tsakiridou, E. and Mattas, K. (2006), The role of food quality
certification on consumers food choices, British Food Journal, Vol. 108 Nos 2/3, pp. 77-90.
Chakrabarti, S. and Baisya, R.K. (2007), Purchase motivations and attitudes of organic food
buyers, Decision, Vol. 34 No. 1, pp. 1-22.
Chakrabarti, S. and Baisya, R.K. (2009), Purchase of organic food: role of consumer
innovativeness and personal influence related constructs, IIMB Management Review,
Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 18-29.
Chinnici, G., DAmico, M. and Pecorino, B. (2002), A multivariate statistical analysis on the
consumers of organic products, British Food Journal, Vol. 104 Nos 3/5, pp. 187-99.
Choo, H., Chung, J.E. and Pysarchik, D.T. (2004), Antecedents to new food product purchasing
behavior among innovator groups in India, European Journal of Marketing., Vol. 38
Nos 5/6, pp. 608-25.
Davies, A., Titterington, A. and Cochrane, C. (1995), Who buys organic food? A profile of the
purchasers of organic food in Northern Ireland, British Food Journal, Vol. 97 No. 10,
pp. 17-23.
Dodds, W.B., Monroe, K.B. and Grewal, D. (1991), Effects of price, brand and store information
on buyers product evaluations, Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 28, pp. 307-19.
Donnelly, J.H. (1970), Social character and acceptance of new products, Journal of Marketing
Research, Vol. 7, pp. 111-13.
Drichoutis, A.C., Panagiotis, L. and Nayga, R.M. (2006), Consumers use of nutritional labels:
a review of research studies and issues, Academy of Marketing Science Review, Vol. 26
No. 9, pp. 1-22.
Ekelund, L. (1989), Vegetable consumption and consumer attitudes towards organically grown
vegetables the case of Sweden, Acta Horticulturae, Vol. 259, pp. 163-72.
Flynn, L.R., Goldsmith, R.E. and Eastman, J.K. (1996), Opinion leaders and opinion seekers:
two new measurement scales, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Vol. 24 No. 2,
pp. 137-47.
Fotopoulos, C. and Krystallis, A. (2002), Purchasing motives and profile of the Greek organic
consumer: a countrywide survey, British Food Journal, Vol. 104 Nos 8/9, pp. 730-65.
BFJ Gaskell, M. (2000), Organic Certification, Farm Production Planning, and Marketing, Vegetable
Research and Information Center, University of California, Davis, CA.
112,8 Gatignon, H. and Robertson, T.S. (1985), A propositional inventory for new diffusion research,
Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 11, pp. 849-67.
Gil, J.M., Gracia, A. and Sanchez, M. (2000), Market segmentation and willingness to pay for
organic products in Spain, The International Food and Agribusiness Management Review,
912 Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 207-26.
Goldsmith, R.E. (2000), Identifying wine innovators: a test of the domain specific innovativeness
scale using known groups, International Journal of Wine Marketing, Vol. 12 No. 2,
pp. 37-46.
Goldsmith, R.E., dHauteville, F. and Flynn, L.R. (1998), Theory and measurement of consumer
innovativeness: a transnational evaluation, European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 32
Nos 3/4, pp. 340-53.
Grunert, C.S. and Juhl, J.H. (1995), Values, environmental attitudes and buying of organic foods,
Journal of Economic Psychology, Vol. 16, pp. 39-62.
Harper, G.C. and Makatouni, A. (2002), Consumer perception of organic food production and
farm animal welfare, British Food Journal, Vol. 104 Nos 3-5, pp. 287-99.
Harrison-Walker, L.J. (2001), The measurement of word of mouth communication and
investigation of service quality and customer commitment as potential antecedents,
Journal of Service Research, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 60-75.
Hill, H. and Lynchehaun, F. (2002), Organic milk: attitudes and consumption patterns, British
Food Journal, Vol. 104 No. 7, pp. 526-42.
Huang, C.L. (1996), Consumer preferences and attitudes towards organically grown produce,
European Review of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 23, pp. 331-42.
Krystallis, A. and Chryssohoidis, G. (2005), Consumers willingness to pay for organic food:
factors that affect it and variation per organic product type, British Food Journal, Vol. 107
Nos 4/5, pp. 320-43.
Lavidge, R.J. and Steiner, G.A. (1961), A model of predictive measurements of advertising
effectiveness, Journal of Marketing, October, pp. 50-62.
Lockie, S., Lyons, K., Lawrence, G. and Mummery, K. (2002), Eating green: motivations behind
organic food consumption in Australia, Sociologia Ruralis, Vol. 42 No. 1, pp. 23-40.
Magnusson, M.K., Arvola, A., Koivisto Hursti, U.K., Aberg, L. and Sjoden, P.O. (2001), Attitudes
towards organic foods among Swedish consumers, British Food Journal, Vol. 103 No. 3,
pp. 209-26.
Magnusson, M.K., Arvola, A., Koivisto Hursti, U.K., Aberg, L. and Sjoden, P.O. (2003), Choice of
organic food is related to perceived consequences for human health and to
environmentally friendly behavior, Appetite, Vol. 40 No. 2, pp. 109-17.
Makatouni, A. (2002), What motivates consumers to buy organic food in the UK? Results from a
qualitative study, British Food Journal, Vol. 104 Nos 3/5, pp. 345-52.
Menon, M. (2009), Organic agriculture and market potential in India, in Willer, H. and
Kilcher, L. (Eds), The World of Organic Agriculture Statistics and Emerging Trends
2009, IFOAM, Bonn; FiBL, Frick; ITC, Geneva.
Michelsen, J., Hamm, U., Wynen, E. and Roth, E. (1999), The European Market for Organic
Products: Growth and Development, Organic Farming in Europe: Economics and policy,
Vol. 7, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart.
MINTEL (2000), Organic Food and Drink Retailing, Market Intelligence Unit of the UK Economic
Intelligence, London.
Misra, S.K., Huang, C.L. and Ott, S.L. (1991), Consumer willingness to pay for pesticide-free Organic food
produce, Western Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 16, pp. 218-27.
Mukherjee, S. (2008), From the ground beneath your feet, Outlook Money, April 23.
purchase
Padel, S. and Foster, C. (2005), Exploring the gap between attitudes and behaviour:
in India
understanding why consumers buy or do not buy organic food, British Food Journal,
Vol. 107, pp. 606-25.
Piirto, R. (1992), The influentials, American Demographics, Vol. 14, pp. 30-8. 913
Reisch, L. (2001), Eco-labeling and sustainable consumption in Europe: lessons to be learned
from the introduction of a national label for organic food, Consumer Interest Annual,
Vol. 47, pp. 1-6.
Sarkar, P. (2005), Organic India: a new way forward, available at: toxicslink.org (accessed 7
March 2002).
Schifferstein, H.N.J. and Oude Ophuis, P.A.M. (1998), Health-related determinants of organic
food consumption in The Netherlands, Food Quality and Preference, Vol. 9 No. 3,
pp. 119-33.
Schlegelmilch, B.B., Bohlen, G.M. and Diamantopoulous, A. (1996), The link between green
purchasing decisions and measures of environmental consciousness, European Journal of
Marketing, Vol. 30 No. 5, pp. 35-55.
Tellis, G.J., Yin, E. and Bell, S. (2004), Global consumer innovativeness: country differences
and individual commonalities, working paper, University of Southern California,
Los Angeles, CA.
Tregear, A., Dent, J.B. and McGregor, M.J. (1994), The demand for organically grown produce,
British Food Journal, Vol. 96 No. 4, pp. 21-5.
von Alvensleben, R. (1998), Ecological aspects of food demand: the case of organic food in
Germany, Health, Ecological and Safety Aspects in Food Choice, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 68-79.
Wandel, M. and Bugge, A. (1997), Environmental concern in consumer evaluation of food
quality, Food Quality and Preference, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 19-26.
Willer, H. and Kilcher, L. (Eds) (2009), The World of Organic Agriculture Statistics and
Emerging Trends 2009, IFOAM, Bonn; FiBL, Frick; ITC, Geneva.

Further reading
Stone, R.N. and Gronhaug, K. (1993), Perceived risk: further considerations for the marketing
discipline, European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 39-50.

(The Appendix follows overleaf.)


BFJ Appendix. Expert survey questionnaire in organic food
112,8 The researcher is carrying out this expert survey and soliciting your opinion about the
role of following variables in consumers purchase of organic food products. Please tick
or write comments against each item. Thank you for participating in the survey.

1. Motivations for Organic Food Purchase (5 point Scale)


914 Very Important (VI), Important (I), Neither important nor unimportant (N), Unimportant (U),
Very Unimportant (VU)

Health --------
Curiosity --------
More nutritious --------
Tastier --------
Desire to protect the environment --------
Need to look after unwell people in home --------

2. Evaluate the following variables in terms of their importance in consumers organic


food purchase (5 point Scale)

Very Important (VI), Important (I), Neither important nor unimportant (N),
Unimportant (U),Very Unimportant (VU)

The conviction of the consumer about the utility of organic food ------
The reputation of the store & its associated people from where purchase is considered ------
The availability of organic food certification related information in the brand considered ------
The importance of positive word of mouth communication from friends ------
The importance of positive word of mouth communication from office colleagues ------
The importance of positive word of mouth communication from family/relatives ------
The importance of consumers organic food category specific innovativeness ------
The importance of consumers organic food category specific opinion leadership ------
The importance of WOM (Activity) towards the store from where organic food is generally
bought* ------
The importance of WOM (Praise) towards the store from where organic food is generally bought
** ------
The importance of affective commitment towards the store from where organic food is generally
bought ------
The role of perceived financial risk ------
The role of perceived performance risk ------

* mention to others quite frequently, told more people about this organic food store, seldom miss an
opportunity to tell others, tend to talk about this store in great detail
** have only good things to say about this organic food store, am proud to tell others that I use this
store
3. a) Is there a the need to create awareness about the category in the market?
Yes No
b) What should be the platform for awareness creation among buyers (pls. specify)

c) What are some of the important benefits within your mentioned awareness creation
platform (pls. specify)?

d) What are the major methods for creating awareness in the category (pls. specify)?
(continued)
4. a) Do you think there is a need to tap innovators and opinion leaders in this category? Organic food
Yes No purchase
in India
b) If so, pls. highlight marketer action points for specifically identifying and tapping
category innovators and opinion leaders more effectively (pls. specify)?

5. What should be focus areas for marketers for building affective commitment among 915
regular buyers of organic food (pls. specify)?

6. How marketers can mitigate perceived performance risk in the category?

7. Please evaluate the role of the following constraints in limiting the more regular
purchase of organic food categories on a very unimportant (1) to very important (5) scale.

Please mention marketer action points to address these constraints

High Price
Limited Availability
Any other factor (pls. mention)

Signature of the Respondent:

Date: Place:

About the author


Somnath Chakrabarti is an Associate Professor in Marketing Area at IMT, Ghaziabad, India
(one of the top ten Management Institutes in India as per most B School surveys). He has done PhD
from Department of Management Studies, IIT Delhi, India; MBA from Oklahoma State University,
Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA and BE from Regional Engineering College (REC, now termed NIT),
Durgapur, India. He has around nine-and-a-half years of corporate experience and more than seven
years of academic and research experience. He has published empirical research paper in reputed
peer-reviewed international and national journals. He has done research work (sales response
modeling) in Sydney, Australia while being in the corporate world. He has researched on
marketing aspects in organic food category extensively while being in academics.
Somnath Chakrabarti can be contacted at: somnath_chakrabarti@rediffmail.com

To purchase reprints of this article please e-mail: reprints@emeraldinsight.com


Or visit our web site for further details: www.emeraldinsight.com/reprints
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.