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The aim of this study is to present the results of the research conducted in order to establish the factors that influence the Romanian consumers' behaviour regarding organic food products. As a result, a behavioural model of the Romanian consumer was realised. It can serve as a base for marketing policy-making by organic food business operators. The method of investigation was the questionnaire-interview. The statistical analysis shows that three groups of organic food consumers can be delineated: non-consumers, every day consumers and occasional consumers of organic food products. Based on the results of the conducted study, a sequence of conclusions turned out to be helpful to the stakeholders on the Romanian organic food market.
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Journal of EcoAgriTourism Proceeding of 6th BIOATLAS Conference Vol. 12, no.2 2016
*University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Bucharest, Faculty of
Biotechnology,59 Mărăști Blv., district 1, 011464, Bucharest, Romania
Corresponding author email:
Abstract: The aim of this study is to present the results of the research conducted in order to
establish the factors that influence the Romanian consumers’ behaviour regarding organic
food products. As a result, a behavioural model of the Romanian consumer was realised. It
can serve as a base for marketing policy-making by organic food business operators. The
method of investigation was the questionnaire-interview. The statistical analysis shows that
three groups of organic food consumers can be delineated: non-consumers, every day
consumers and occasional consumers of organic food products. Based on the results of the
conducted study, a sequence of conclusions turned out to be helpful to the stakeholders on the
Romanian organic food market.
Keywords: consumer, organic food, behaviour, marketing research
1. Introduction
Organic farming is likely to receive a major
boost in the European Union and most probably
also worldwide since consumers have lost some
trust in food derived from conventional
production. The large increase in organic farming
have increased due to a variety of factors: (i) to
preserve the earning capability of farmers in a
world that needs less producers to feed the well-
fed part of the world’s population; (ii) to preserve
the rural countryside as it is; (iii) to use
cultivation methods that will conserve the soil
and contribute to sustainability (Siderer & al.,
2005 [1]). The attitude of consumers towards
organic food is in general positive with typically
associated benefits such as superior taste, more
environmental-friendliness, improved health,
safer food products, and animal welfare (Rödiger
& Hamm, 2015 [2]). A frequently reported
reason for not buying organic food was price,
since it was usually premium priced (Marian &
al., 2014 [3]).
Organic food has thus gained a significant place
in the public discourse as well as in political
strategies for agricultural development.
Consumption has a central role in this new
quality food policy, and this is reflected in the
political objectives on organic farming (Vittersø
& Tangeland, 2015 [4]).
By definition, organic foods are not genetically
modified and are produced specifically without
the application of synthetic chemicals such as
pesticides or fertilisers. Specifically, organic food
include less harmful additives and more primary
nutrients (vitamin C, dry matter, minerals) and
secondary nutrients (such as phyto-nutrients) than
traditional foods (Hsu & Chen, 2014 [5]).
Numerous researchers (Grankvist & Biel, 2001
[6]; Lee & al., 2013 [7]) indicated that consumers
perceive foods labelled as organic to be healthier
than traditional foods. Between the sensory
aspects of food (like taste, texture characteristics,
odour) and the impact of non-food effects (like
cognitive information, social factors, physical
environment), human food choice is difficult.
Although various models represent the
complexity of food choice behaviour (Gifford &
Bernard, 2006 [8]; Zander & Hamm, 2012 [9]),
little research has investigated the impact of the
regulatory fit effect, especially associated with
organic food choice.
Consumers combine information about product
attributes and consequences to evaluate a product
and make their choices. They rely on their felt
involvement which is influenced by their
experience. The importance placed on each
parameter is based on the consumers’ priorities
and values (Shafie & Rennie, 2012 [10]).
Journal of EcoAgriTourism Proceeding of 6th BIOATLAS Conference Vol. 12, no.2 2016
Demographic variables as well as lifestyle and
environmental attitudes define the organic
consumer profile. Regular consumers of organic
food tend to be educated, affluent and of higher
social class (Stobelaar & al., 2006 [11]).
Awareness of food hazards and knowledge of
food hazards were higher among females and
individuals with more education and income
(Shafie & Rennie, 2012 [10]). Lockie & al., 2002
[12] also found strong correlation between
increasing consumption of organic food and
levels of formal education. Regarding the price of
organic food products, organic consumers are
willing to pay approximately 10% premium for
organic food with an average of 9.5% by women
and 11.4% by men. Regular consumers would
pay a slightly higher premium around 15%, an
average of 12/6% by women and 18% by men
(Urena & al., 2008 [13]).
The literature on organic products is poor in
informations regarding Central Eastern Europe
(Radman, 2005 14). In the same time, the
literature concerning the organic food market in
Romania is also limited with most studies
focusing on food production (Gurau &
Ranchhod, 2005 15), rather than consumer
behaviour (Arvanitoyannis & Krystallis, 2006
The present study focuses on Romania’s case
related to the organic food market potential. It is
important to understand which factors contribute
to the low demand levels of organic products on
this market. What factors might motivate
Romanian food shoppers to purchase organic
food products rather than conventional food
products, if any?
In order to investigate this market opportunity,
the current situation in the Romanian organic
food market is analysed. The focus is on
consumer understanding, attitudes and
perceptions regarding organic products, the
perceived benefits, and finally consumer
motivations to purchase organic rather than
conventional food.
The purpose of this study was to identify what
are food shoppers’ perceptions on organic food
products in Bucharest, Romania. In the analysis,
both qualitative and quantitative techniques were
2. Materials and methods
In this analysis, the population is comprised of
food shoppers that live in Bucharest, the capital
city of Romania. The criteria for this study are
drawn using age, family lifecycle, income and
education level, as well as residency.. All the
research participants are permanent residents of
Bucharest. They were assured of both the
anonymity and confidentiality of given data, and
that the results would not be used for other
purposes, according to the Market Research
Society Code of Conduct.
The questionnaire based survey was conducted
in Bucharest, on a representative sample of 1300
food shoppers. The target population comprised
of all persons over 18 years old who are
responsible for the shopping activities within
their household (i.e. food shoppers) and who, at
the time of the survey, were living anywhere in
The face-to-face interviews were conducted on
high traffic streets in the city centre of Bucharest.
The questionnaire was designed based on the
reviewed literature and on the findings of the
qualitative research. The sample size was of 1300
respondents with 1251 valid responses.
Quantitative surveys based on questionnaires
are the most common way to assess the different
factors affecting consumers’ food choice (Steptoe
& al., 1995 17). A set of relevant statements is
presented to respondents based on literature and
identified via the qualitative research. A five-
point Likert (agree/ disagree) scale was used
(Kotler, 1972 [18; Honkanen & al., 2006 19]).
The items in a scale should be strongly
correlated with the latent variable (Hair & al.,
1998 20). If this condition is true then the items
within a scale should be strongly correlated with
each other. Nevertheless, given the exploratory
nature of this study, the scale proved to be
The questionnaire comprises three sections:
questions on consumption behaviour, a
multidimensional scale on attitudes of organic
food with five constructs and demographic
questions (Steptoe & al., 1995 17]; Lockie & al.,
2002 [21).
The data analysis was carried out using the
SPSS 17.0 for Windows statistical program
Factor and cluster analyses were performed
based on the responses given on the five-point
Likert scale, at a significance level of 5 percent.
The factor analysis is a technique whose
objectives are to identify a smaller set of
underlying dimensions which explain the inter-
relationships among a large set of metric
variables with a minimum loss of information. It
achieves data reduction so that the original set of
Journal of EcoAgriTourism Proceeding of 6th BIOATLAS Conference Vol. 12, no.2 2016
variables is replaced by a smaller number of
factors (Hair & al., 1998 20). The factors are
used as variables for the subsequent analysis
the cluster analysis. This analysis is a
multivariate technique for groups responses with
similar profiles on a defined set of characteristics
(Popa, 2008 22]; Varga, 2009 [23). The
applications of cluster analysis are market
segmentation, positioning and targeting, new
product development, and test markets’ selection
(Hair & al., 1998 20).
3. Results and discussion
(a) Exploratory factor analysis using
Varimax factors rotation method
The third section of the questionnaire (Annex 1)
comprised of 30 affirmations regarding consumer
behaviour on organic food market, which were
submitted to statistical processing using factorial
analysis, cluster analysis, Chi-square test of
association and Chi-square test for the
corresponding degree. The 30 affirmations are
further reffered as variables.
The factorial analysis was conducted by
processing the obtained data and information
from the questionnaire, third section, from the
1251 respondents, using the SPSS 17.0 software.
The statistical processing conducted with SPSS
17.0 software comprises two main parts:
- exploratory factor analysis by
usig Varimax factors rotation method;
- cluster analysis, using the
following processing techniques: Chi and
Chi-square tests.
The factor analysis uses two methods to
determine the factors which are: primary
component analysis method - Hotteling and
common factors analysis method - Thurstone. In
our case, we addopted the primary component
analysis method - Hotteling, which looks for and
extracts in successive stages the largest linear
correlation between variables, every step
meaning the identification of a factor. The values
of the extracted factors are then used as variables
for cluster analysis where the data needs to be
organized in form of a matrix where "the cases"
are on the line and "the variables" are on the
The Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) and Bartlett
test of sphericity are two statistical tests that
indicate the degree of association between the
variables. High values, closed to 1 and
significant, represent a favourable argument for
the existence of some factors and so for the
legitimacy factor analysis on that data. 0.8
rounded value of KMO is suggesting one or more
common factors, which justifies the application
of a procedure of factor reduction (Varga, 2009
One of the major problems of the analysis
consists in obtaining a maximum variation at
factor level, based on the combined variables. For
obtaining that effect, the calculus program that
was used permits a rotation of the variables
variation space, i.e. a rotation of the graphical
representation space so the original Ox axis could
approximate itself the regresion line. This type of
rotation follows the maximization of the variation
(variability) of the factor named "varimax". Its
complementary aim is to reduce the variance of
the values that are not part of the factor.
The primary components analysis implies the
extraction of all the possible factors with the help
of a numeric index, frequently used with this
purpose, Eigenvalue index which can be
calculated as a sum of the determination
coefficients (r2), between each factor and the
variables that enter into its composition,
eventually those factors which satisfy the
condition that the Eigenvalue index value to be
greater or equal to 1 being kept. In our case, the
30 variables designed to study the organic
products consumer behaviour were cumulated
based on the meanings and resulted the 8 factors,
which together explain 51,021% from the
variation of the analyzed values.
The degree of reduction of the obtained data is
74%. The percentage of the variation of a
variable explained by reunited factors that
indicates the indicator's safety represented by that
variable was pretty low.
The data based on the Varimax method allows
final conclusions regarding the factorial structure
of the variables analyzed, such as:
Factor 1 The consistency of taste: it is
mainly composed of variables related to satiety
and taste;
Factor 2 Natural food products, uncertified:
it explains the affirmations linked to consumer
perception that the products produced and sold by
farmers are organic products, uncertified ;
• Factor 3 – Ethical benefits: this lane? explains
the affirmations that reffers to the primary
benefits of organic products, namely health and
environment protection;
• Factor 4 – Snobbism: composed mainly of the
variables linked to an eventual snobbism effect of
organic food products consumption, in this case
perceived as luxury products;
Journal of EcoAgriTourism Proceeding of 6th BIOATLAS Conference Vol. 12, no.2 2016
Factor 5 Accessibility : explains the
affirmations that refer to the market disponibility
for the organic food products and having a good
good quality / price report;
Factor 6 Lack of familiarization: composed
mainly of variables linked to the level of
familiarization with organic food products
Factor 7 Ignorance: explains the
affirmations that refer to the level of information
and promotion of organic market;
• Factor 8 Skepticism: composed of variables
linked to lack of trust in organic food product
Based on the data processing and as a result of
the analysis of Varimax Table, a series of
interesting and useful conclusions have emerged.
First of all, it confirms the fact that the organic
food products market is based on a group of loyal
consumers, that acknowledges and appreciates
the sensory and nutritional characteristics of
organic food products and in the same time they
are satisfied that organic products are more filling
and even tastier than the conventional ones.
The group of loyal consumers have enough
information and appreciate the diversity of
organic food on the Romanian market with the
price / quality ratio being fair.
According to the Varimax Table it appears that
the group of non-buyers of organic products is
based on the fact that they consider that natural
products can be considered uncertified organic
products and can be purchased from the local
farmers or even produced in their own household
(rural) at more affordable prices.
The data from Varimax table shows that the
group of occasional users did not make a habit of
consuming organic products for reasons of
convenience or simply do not find their favorite
products in organic version. They say that they
don't belive that there really are organic products
but instead recognize they do not have enough
information about organic food products. They
consider that the organic products were not
aggressively promoted, but they are interested to
know more issues which will determine them to
consume organic food products in the future.
(b) Cluster Analysis
Cluster analysis was performed in order to
identify the market segments. For this purpose
the scores from factor analysis previously
presented were used. Before presenting the
results and conclusions of the cluster analysis, we
will present some important outlines.
The cluster analysis is a multivariate technique
that analyzes the possibility of grouping objects,
then the analyst will choose not only the method
of analysis but also the grouping solution that he
considers appropriate. Cluster analysis is used in
marketing for market segmentation, for
positioning and orientation, new product
development and testing selected markets (Hair
& al., 1998 20).
The Chi-square test is used to highlight the
degree of association between two categorical
variables with the following conditions:
categorical variables can be expressed either by
numerical values or by string values (printable
character); the two variables can not "intersect"
(there must be no subjects included in more than
one cell of the table); the expected frequency
values not less than 5 (or at least in no more than
20% of the cells); there should be no cells with
the expected frequency 0.
The Chi-square test is used for the degree of
correlation when comparing the observed rates of
a single categorical variable, with its expected
frequencies, that are previously known.
Three significant groups of respondents were
established by the k-means method, each one
with 342 (27,3%), 381 (30,5%) and 528 (42,2%)
respondents. The k-means method is an iterative
group method, that starts from a fixed number of
clusters established by the researcher to suit large
amounts of data analysing.
The profiling of each consumer, from each of
the three groups, was based on factor scores for
each group and contingency tables with
behavioural and demographic variables for which
there were significant differences between groups
based on chi-square test, at a level of significant
variation of 5%.
From the analysis of the cluster centers and
from the contingency tables we can observe the
profiles of the three formed segments.
The ocasional consumer represented 528 of
persons from a total of 1251 interviewed persons,
which present a low interest towards organic food
products compared to the other two consumer
groups. Anyway, the highest proportion of 34.5%
(i.e. 182 people), preffer to go shopping once a
week, while 34,1% (i.e. 180 people) go shopping
2-3 times a week.
Group 1 consist of non-buyers of organic
products, who perceive certified foods as luxury
products for snobs and believe that products
bought from peasants or farmers, in general, are
as natural and organic as certified organic
products. This way we can explain why these
Journal of EcoAgriTourism Proceeding of 6th BIOATLAS Conference Vol. 12, no.2 2016
consumers do not purchase labeled organic food
products: they are not willing to pay extra for
certification, faith in rural production quality
being very strong.
Group 2 represents the usual consumers of
organic food products, who became loyal to these
products due to product quality, especially at
sensorial level.
Group 3 is represented by occasional buyers of
organic food products who know the health and
environmental benefits, but still retain a slight
skepticism about the method of production,
information on the label and certification
schemes. They also buy such products that they
feel are handy, in terms of quality - price ratio
and the market availability of a variety of organic
food products alternatives (at least at perception
Contingency tables with the 29 behavioural and
demographic variables were performed to
identify possible groups descriptors. From 29
variables, six of them proved to have statistical
significance for the presented study.
Thus, these variables are: purchase frequency,
initial source of information about organic food
products, organic products consumption in
general, organic milk consumption, consumer
label use and age at time of study.
The non-buyers group (Group 1) represented by
342 people from a total of 1251 interviewed
people, are very involved in household shopping,
more than once per week, at a rate of 29.5%,
which means 101 people. They also recorded the
highest percentage (42.1% i.e. 144 persons) of
weekly shopping. These results may show the
inclination of Group 1 to visit the traditional
trade more than other consumer groups.
The segment of the consumers of organic food
products presents a more varied behaviour,
exactly 23,4% of them are going shopping only
2-3 times a week, 37,8% are going shopping
weekly, and 26,5% are going shopping even
more than once a week.
For all three groups of consumers, the TV
shows regarding organic food products
consumtion represented the primary source of
information, followed by internet and point of
sale advertising. Moreover, occasional users
seem most receptive to promote organic products
at the point of sale (15%) which may indicate that
they buy organic products in momentum, as the
decision is made on the shelves, out of curiosity.
It emerged the fact that milk and dairy products
represents the most consumed organic food
category, with a slight difference between
segments: loyal consumers consume in
proportion of 64.8% versus 53.4% for occasional
In general, consumers read the information on
the packaging only partially (62%), but the
consumers of organic foods group tend to give
greater importance to this information, using the
label every time, at a rate of 32%. In
general, consumers consume organic food less
than once a month or never at a rate of nearly
50%. However, according to the segmentation
above, there are some differences between the
three groups: Group 1 has the highest rate of non-
consumer (48%), Group 2 consumes most often
(63%) and Group 3 consumes up to 2-3 times a
month, in general (70%). On one hand young
people aged 18-24 years are more curious and
open to new things than other categories of
consumers and on the other hand, they are the
most financially constrained, this being the main
reason they are found in a high percentage in the
non-consumer group (42.7%). After analyzing
the contingency tables, the group profiles can be
resumed as presented in Table 1. It can be
concluded that cluster analysis clearly revealed
three groups of buyers: the first one - consumers
that do not buy organic food products, the second
one - the loyal buyers of organic food products
and the third one - the ocasional buyers of
organic food products.
Table 1. Organic food market segmentation (consumer profile groups)
Profile variable
Number and group size
1 (27,3 %)
2 (30,5 %)
3 (42,2 %)
Group name
Loyal buyers
Occasional buyers
Factor scores (the level of a certain perception in the consumers mind )
Consistency taste
strong perception
Uncertified natural Foods
strong perception
Ethical benefits
strong perception
strong perception
Journal of EcoAgriTourism Proceeding of 6th BIOATLAS Conference Vol. 12, no.2 2016
strong perception
Lack of familiarization
strong perception
strong perception
strong perception
Consumer Behaviour
Frequency of purchase
more often
once a week
Frequency of consumption eco
almost never
Source of information
TV sows
media and Internet
Internet promotion
and point of sale
Use of the label
Demographic Profile
over 35 years
25-34 years
18-24 years
To make a comparison with other research
results, we mention that in 2009 a similar study
was conducted by the Centre for Rural Economy
(CER) on consumer perception towards organic
products in Romania and China. This study
outlined the organic food consumer profile, being
"informed, educated, who has knowledge about
organic products, diets and their impact on
health, has a monthly income above average,
afford to pay a higher price and take their time to
seek these products". In both countries,
participants in the study, both consumers and
non-consumers associate organic food products
with health. They believe that organic products
are expensive being considered luxury products
that address to a narrow segment of the
population, and the supply is insufficient, with a
reduced and inaccessible variety of products.
Contrary to the results obtained in our study,
CER follows the fact that there is a lack of trust
in the certification of products and in the veracity
of their labels.
4. Conclusions
After studying the profiles of the interviewees
we found that they fall into three representative
groups: non-buyers group, the group of loyal
consumers of organic products and occasional
buyers of organic food products group, each of
these groups being characterized by certain
dominant traits;
The non-buyers group of organic products is
made up of people who are involved in the
household shopping, going once or morethan
once per week for shopping but have not yet
determined the difference between natural and
ecological product, preferring to buy products
from farmers, being also cheaper than those that
are certified as organic products, the latter being
considered luxury products, that they believe to
have the same benefits essentially; the group of
loyal consumers is composed of people who have
enough information about organic products and
have formed a true image about them, being
aware of the cost-benefit ratio and became loyal
consumers of such products; the group of
occasional users go shopping once a week or less
often but is still slightly more responsive and
knows the benefits of eating organic foods, but
sometimes is influenced by price, income,
convenience, accessibility, factors that decrease
the frequency of consumption of these products.
Another feature of this group is its flexibility,
making it easier to be influenced, a big impact
being held by the promotion at the point of sale,
which can influence them to buy such products
out of curiosity; a very important category of
consumers has proven to be represented by
young people aged between 18-24 years, which
although they are most receptive and flexible
thanks to modern mentality and easy access to
information constituing the biggest group of
consumers of organic food products, both loyal
and casual, they however are constrained by
financial instability and also occupies much of
the non-buyers group; as is well known in
Romania the standard average living is low and
the monthly average income is generally between
1001 and 5000 RON/household (section 2 - 3 of
the questionnaire), which doesn’t satisfy basic
needs to a higher level of quality, and this fact
reduces the consumption potential of organic
food for the time. Summarising the results and
conclusions following the marketing research
that we conducted with the aim of shaping a
behaviour model of the Romanian consumer of
organic products, we can say that the organic
products market dinamics in Romania is
moderate and restrained by economic factors
(significantly lower income per person than the
Journal of EcoAgriTourism Proceeding of 6th BIOATLAS Conference Vol. 12, no.2 2016
average income per person in the European
Union), by social factors (traditionalist spirit and
reserved towards new of the Romanian
consumer) and even political factors (reduced
stimulation of the state towards production of
organic agricultural products) and reduced
promotion of healty food education with the
addition of environmental protection.
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Annex 1.
The questionnaire developed and used for the research conducted in order to determine consumer
perceptions of food products
Consumul de produse agroalimentare ecologice
contribuie la menţinerea sănătăţii umane
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Consumul de produse agroalimentare ecologice
contribuie la protejarea mediului
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Produsele agroalimentare ecologice sunt mai
gustoase decât produsele convenţionale
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Aportul de substanţe nutritive este superior, în cazul
produselor agroalimentare ecologice faţă de cele
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Produsele naturale sunt produse ecologice
[ ]
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Există produse ecologice necertificate,
comercializate în pieţe, la ţărani
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Unele produse de la ţară sunt ecologice
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Pentru o dietă sănătoasă, consum produse ecologice
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Alimentele ecologice şi cele convenţionale au
aceleaşi ingrediente
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Produsele tradiţionale sunt ecologice
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Am văzut des alimente ecologice în magazine
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Nu sunt informat(ă) adecvat în legătură cu
alimentele ecologice
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Am nevoie de mai multe informaţii despre metodele
de producţie ecologică
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Prefer alimente ecologice produse de companii
cunoscute pe piaţă
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Oferta de alimente ecologice din România este
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Raportul calitate/preţ al alimentelor ecologice este
unul corect
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Nu îmi permit să cumpăr alimente ecologice atât de
des pe cât mi-aş dori
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Cumpăr alimente ecologice pentru ca nu conţin
organisme modificate genetic
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Alimentele ecologice sunt indicate copiilor
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satur mai repede când consum alimente
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Alimentele ecologice îmi aduc aminte de ce
mâncam în copilărie
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Unii cumpără produse ecologice doar pentru că sunt
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Am încercat produse ecologice din curiozitate
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Produsele ecologice sunt produse de lux
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Nu cred că există produse cu adevărat ecologice
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Nu am găsit alimentele pe care le consum de obicei
în varianta ecologică certificată
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Nu caut în mod special produse ecologice
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Nu am auzit de nici o campanie de promovare a
alimentelor ecologice
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Cei din mediul rural consumă alimente ecologice,
din propria gospodărie
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Cumpăr produse ecologice camă răsfăţ, la ocazii
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... Romanian studies regarding the organic food market follow two main directions: (1) analysis of the organic agriculture sector to find proper development methods [8][9][10]; and (2) analysis of consumers' behavior towards organic food [11,12]. Romanian consumption of organic food is relatively low (1%) compared to the European level (3-5%). ...
... Thus, Draghici et al. [12] concluded that, based on the results of the research conducted in Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, the dynamics of the organic food market are moderate and mainly influenced by economic factors, including the low income per capita as the most relevant [12]. The organic food buyers in Bucharest were divided into three main clusters, the occasional buyers held the highest percentage (42.2%), ...
... Thus, Draghici et al. [12] concluded that, based on the results of the research conducted in Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, the dynamics of the organic food market are moderate and mainly influenced by economic factors, including the low income per capita as the most relevant [12]. The organic food buyers in Bucharest were divided into three main clusters, the occasional buyers held the highest percentage (42.2%), ...
Full-text available
Organic food consumption has increased during the last years as a consequence of its direct impact on consumer health, life style, and social convenience as well as on the environment and sustainable development. Compared to the European level, the consumption of organic food products is quite low in Romania. This paper investigates the perception and attitudes of the organic food consumers from the North-West Development Region of Romania. Consumers' perception towards organic food products was measured using 30 items. The data were collected from 568 respondents and analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. A factor-cluster approach was used to identify consumer groups. The findings indicated that health concerns, sensory appeal, sustainable consumption and weight concerns are the main reasons for consuming organic food products. Three main groups of organic food consumers were identified: "gourmand", "environmentally concerned" and "health concerned".
Full-text available
In recent years, people have become increasingly interested in adopting a healthy diet, which also extends to healthy snacks, such as chips. Understanding the interplay of factors that influence the preference decisions concerning food products is very helpful in market segmentation for identifying specific groups of consumers with similar needs. This study aims to obtain a better understanding of Romanian consumers’ preference for organic vegetable chips vs. classic potato chips. The research involved a transversal, cross-sectional, descriptive, exploratory, and correlational design. Data were collected based on a questionnaire (1060 participants) and processed with the SPSS 22 program, using the Pearson chi-square test and binary logistic regression as statistical procedures. Significant differences were found regarding the distribution of the respondents who prefer organic vegetable chips vs. classic potato chips based on socio-demographic characteristics. The results of the binary logistic regression analysis (χ2 = 102,906, df = 22, N = 909, p < 0.001) indicate that education level and frequency of consumption have a statistically significant impact on the preference for organic vegetable chips. The obtained results can contribute to a better understanding of Romanian consumers’ preferences, acting as a knowledge stage in the adoption of a healthy eating style.
Full-text available
This article reviews research on consumer behaviour regarding the price of organic food published from January 2000 to December 2013, in order to identify the current state of research and research gaps. The publications were classified into stimulus–response or stimulus–organism–response paradigm based studies. Organism-internal processes were further divided into ‘affective’, ‘cognitive’ and ‘intentional’ processes. Moreover, for a systematic review the categories ‘price elasticity’, ‘price perception and evaluation’, ‘price knowledge’, and ‘willingness-to-pay’ were built. The majority of studies were based on a stimulus–organism–response paradigm. 20 studies in the sample analysed the price elasticity of demand and reported partly contradictory results. There were no studies on affective processes in the sample. A solid body of knowledge exists on the cognitive processes ‘price perception and evaluation’ while very few studies investigate ‘price knowledge’. The majority of studies were concerned with the willingness-to-pay for organic food and yielded mixed and contradictory results. The explanatory power and conclusiveness of research is impaired by weak sampling techniques (e.g., convenience sampling, sampling at few locations) and data collection methods. The improvement of sampling techniques, the increase of comparability of results and the deepening of analyses is recommended.
Full-text available
Food safety, human health and environmental concern along with sensory attributes such as nutritive value, taste, freshness and appearance influence organic food consumer preferences. Demographic variables may define organic consumers but the correlation is not very significant. Consumers also associate organic food with natural process, care for the environment and animal welfare and the non-use of pesticides and fertilisers. Premium price continues to suppress organic food consumption. Understanding the grounds of increasing level of organic food consumption such as motivation are most critical in understanding the potential of the organic food to become a genuinely mainstream market.
Political targets for consumption of organic food are set in many European countries and also in Norway. Organic food is in these policies often considered as a spearhead for transition towards more sustainable production and consumption in the food sector. Measures such as consumer information and food labelling schemes are established in order to increase consumption of organic food. These policies are in line with a view within the academic discourse were the reflexive, political consumer is seen as a key agent for change. However, in spite of a major political effort to increase organic food consumption in Norway over the past 15 years, consumption has increased marginally. We therefore question this view of the consumer's influence and power to change the relations in – and developments of – the present food system. Based on the results of two consumer surveys carried out in 2000 and 2013, the article discusses the observed changes in perceptions of barriers towards purchase of organic food among Norwegian consumers. We found that organic food was considered more available in the stores in 2013 than in 2000. However, for other factors such as trust in the labelling system and the quality of organic food the perceptions had become more negative. Most important; more consumers saw no benefits from buying organic food in 2013 than in 2000. This means that the political emphasis on the self-regulating consumer has shown little effect. The article concludes that both the political tools and theoretical analyses to a greater extent must be turned away from a primary focus on the consumer towards identifying key economic and political conflicts of interest as important barriers to sustainable food consumption transition.
High prices are often quoted as an obstacle to consumer purchase of organic food products. This article investigates the market performance of organic food products at different price levels and whether high price is necessarily a disadvantage for organic food products, especially with regard to generating repeat purchase. Based on analyses of panel purchase data from 2011 in Denmark, the study explores the effects of production method (organic vs. conventional) and price on consumers’ repeat purchase and cross-purchase across four product categories: red meat, chicken, milk and hard cheese. Results show that a high price is a disadvantage for generating repeat purchase of organic food products. Although organic products enjoy higher repeat purchase than conventional products overall, a high price generates less repeat purchase of organic products than a low or a medium price in all product categories; whereas in the case of conventional food products the situation is the reverse. At the same time, the cross-purchase analysis reveals that consumers who buy organic products from the high price tier are less likely to switch to other price tiers than consumers who buy low or medium price organic products (i.e. there is a spillover of high price organic food purchases to other product categories). Implications for pricing strategies for organic food products are discussed.
This study examines the influence of regulatory fit on consumer attitudes and purchase intentions toward organic food and describes the moderating role of consumer characteristics. To this end, hypotheses have been developed and subjected to empirical verification using a survey. The survey results, obtained in Taiwan, provide reasonable support for the hypotheses. Specifically, the findings from the analysis of variance confirm that the occurrence of a regulatory fit leads to a more positive attitude and a greater intention to purchase organic food than when no regulatory fit occurs. Furthermore, the findings from both moderated regression analysis and simple slope analysis show that the relationships between regulatory fit and both attitude and purchase intention are moderated by consumer characteristics (i.e., trust propensity and self-confidence). Based on the findings, academic and practical implications are discussed.
Purpose – The market of ecological products is growing exponentially at global level, however, there are very few studies focused on the international marketing strategies of eco‐firms. Seeks to address the issues. Design/methodology/approach – On the basis of the information collected during interviews conducted with six British and six Romanian eco‐firms with international activity, the main opportunities and challenges for international green marketing are identified and analysed. Findings – The findings show important differences between the Romanian and the British firms, mainly determined by the level of development of their domestic market. The Romanian firms usually export ecological products using foreign agents, while the British firms sell internationally using their own brand name and attempting to control the foreign distribution channels. The similarity of the foreign market selection process applied by the UK eco‐firms has allowed the development of a tentative theoretical framework in the second part of the paper. Originality/value – The paper provides insights into the issues surrounding the marketing of ecological products in the international marketplace.
Importance attached to purchase criteria, beliefs about the characteristics of eco-labeled alternatives of some food products, and prescriptive norm strength to purchase such products were examined as potential predictors of purchasing eco-labeled products. It is argued that the purchase of ordinary food products is a behavior often guided by habits. This implies that to purchase eco-labeled alternatives often require a change of habit. Data were obtained from a questionnaire mailed to 480 individuals. Attaching importance to the purchase criteria environmental consequences and human health, expressing positive beliefs about eco-labeled products, and experiencing a strong prescriptive norm were positively correlated with a high relative frequency of choicing eco-labeled alternatives. Environmental values in particular may create a predisposition to change purchase habits.