Word associations with “organic”: what do consumers think of?

Word associations with “organic”: what do consumers think of? PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to examine the word associations that consumers have with organic food, organic meat or organic vegetables, and how these associations differ between food type and consumer groups. Construal-level theory was used as a theoretical framework to interpret the associations. In addition, consumer groups were compared on psychological distance, values, age, and gender.Design/methodology/approachTwo studies were performed. In Study 1, a sample of 154 participants filled out the words that came to their mind when thinking of organic food, organic meat or organic vegetables, and psychological distance and values were measured. In Study 2 these words were rated on centrality by an independent sample (n=52).FindingsConsumers think of animal welfare, price, health, pesticides, and naturalness the most when thinking of organic. The environment, health, honesty, pesticides, sustainability, quality, natural, additives, origin, certification, and taste were central across organic food, organic meat, and organic vegetables. Thinking of organic meat showed consumers’ concern for animal welfare, while thinking of organic vegetables showed concern for human health. Consumer groups differed regarding psychological distance, values, gender, and age. Consumers who frequently bought organic food were more positive about organic food products compared to consumers who occasionally or hardly ever bought organic food products.Originality/valueThis research extends the scope of current consumer research about organic food and provides new insight in the word associations consumers have with organic food products. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png British Food Journal Emerald Publishing

Word associations with “organic”: what do consumers think of?

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0007-070X
DOI
10.1108/BFJ-05-2016-0229
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to examine the word associations that consumers have with organic food, organic meat or organic vegetables, and how these associations differ between food type and consumer groups. Construal-level theory was used as a theoretical framework to interpret the associations. In addition, consumer groups were compared on psychological distance, values, age, and gender.Design/methodology/approachTwo studies were performed. In Study 1, a sample of 154 participants filled out the words that came to their mind when thinking of organic food, organic meat or organic vegetables, and psychological distance and values were measured. In Study 2 these words were rated on centrality by an independent sample (n=52).FindingsConsumers think of animal welfare, price, health, pesticides, and naturalness the most when thinking of organic. The environment, health, honesty, pesticides, sustainability, quality, natural, additives, origin, certification, and taste were central across organic food, organic meat, and organic vegetables. Thinking of organic meat showed consumers’ concern for animal welfare, while thinking of organic vegetables showed concern for human health. Consumer groups differed regarding psychological distance, values, gender, and age. Consumers who frequently bought organic food were more positive about organic food products compared to consumers who occasionally or hardly ever bought organic food products.Originality/valueThis research extends the scope of current consumer research about organic food and provides new insight in the word associations consumers have with organic food products.

Journal

British Food JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 5, 2016

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