Trans-European comparison of motivations and attitudes of occasional consumers of organic products

Peter Midmore, M. Francois, M. Ness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (SciVal)


Recent research has found clear differentiation between views of regular and occasional European consumers of organic products, with distinct regional differences. There was also evidence that some uncommitted consumers gradually consume more organic products and eventually become committed consumers. However, most research focuses on regular, loyal or heavily committed organic consumers, and scope for market growth based on occasional consumers has gone unexplored. We report on studies that, based on existing literature, explore the complex, interdependent and subjective nature of occasional consumers’ appreciation of organic products. The first evidence source was an analysis of focus groups of occasional consumers conducted in five European countries, which compared quality and safety attributes and production and processing techniques between organic and conventional products. It can be concluded that many attitudes are very product-specific. The second was a large-scale survey involving 5500 respondents in 6 countries of organic purchasers, each answering questions relating to one of the four products featured in the focus groups. Past purchases of organic foods were recorded, enabling regular and occasional organic consumers to be identified. Structural equation models based on these data enabled description of a number of statistically significant differences in attitudes and beliefs about quality and safety in food products between regular and occasional consumers of organic foods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-78
Number of pages6
JournalNJAS - Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences
Issue number3-4
Early online date10 Feb 2011
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


  • Organic foods
  • Focus groups
  • Structural equation modelling


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