British Food Journal,
Vol. 104 No. 9, 2002, pp. 730-765.
# MCB UP Limited, 0007-070X
Purchasing motives and profile
of the Greek organic consumer:
a countrywide survey
Department of Farm Management, University of Ioannina,
Agrinio, Greece, and
Agricultural Economics and Social Research Institute, Athens, Greece
Keywords Consumer behaviour, Organic food, Purchasing, Motivation, Greece
Abstract The present study attempts to offer more insights into the Greek organic market. It
examines the organic products as ``eco-products'', suitable for ``green'' consumers, who are
ecologically/environmentally ecology-aware and who are concerned with health and quality-of-life
issues. Analysing a countrywide sample, the survey concludes that three consumer types exist in
terms of attitude towards, purchase intention and awareness of organic products: the ``unaware'',
the ``aware non-buyers'', and the ``(aware) buyers'' (or simply buyers) of organic food products.
After developing a detailed profile of the first two, the ``aware buyers'' type is segmented in terms
of five groups of personality and behavioural factors, defined in the international literature as the
driving forces of organic purchasing.
Environmental protection issues have become popular in Europe since the
mid-1980s (Greenan et al., 1997), while in the USA such matters and issues of
health protection worried consumers since the 1960s (Klonsky and Tourte,
1998). Davis et al. (1995) point out the ``sudden increase of the interest'' in
environmental issues in Europe since 1986, when citizens started mentioning
the issue of environmental protection in various studies as priority issues for
governmental policies. Environmentalism has been quoted as one of the
biggest issues facing business and the public in the 1990s, a decade which has
been called ``the decade of environment'' (Pujari and Wright, 1996). Numerous
well-documented surveys have found that environmental challenge is sure to
be one of the central issues of the twenty-first century (Czinkota and
The question of ``consumerism'', its influence on human health and on the
long-term maintenance and renewal of the planet's resources is addressed here
(Sylverstone, 1993). According to Browne et al. (2000), the growing interest in
``ethical'' production (in which they include organic) have been both consumer
and trade driven. Consumer theory places ethical consumerism in a ``fourth
wave'' of consumerism, which seeks to reaffirm the moral dimension of
consumer choice (Browne et al., 2000).
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The authors wish to express their gratitude to the Greek Ministry of Agriculture for its financial
support provided for the accomplishment of this survey.