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Consumer Perception of Organic Food

Powerful Essays
Consumers’ perception and behaviour towards organic food
1. Introduction
Perception is the foundation on which a consumer base their actions and reactions (Shiffman and Kanuk, 2010:172), the consumers’ perceptions are more important than their knowledge when motives and stimuli’s are aroused by marketers. Consumer behaviour can be defined as the way an individual search, purchase, use, evaluate and dispose services and products to satisfy a need (Shiffman & Kanuk, 2010:23). Perception is the way an individual selects, organises, and interprets stimuli in order to form a meaningful perception of their surroundings (Shiffman & Kanuk, 2010:175). Motivation starts when a dormant need is aroused, this arousal can be positive or negative depending on the consumer’s perception of the product or service. Dormant needs are needs that consumers are not aware of; the individual only becomes aware of the need once it is aroused (Cant et al., 2006:132). Maslow’s hierarchy of needs explains the different levels of needs that need to be satisfied to eventually reach self-actualisation (Cant et al., 2006:133).
Organic food is a farming product which does not make use of pesticides or synthetic fertilisers in order to create a more sustainable product (Shafie & Rennie, 2009:360). Beliefs about healthiness, tastiness, animal welfare, and saving the environment are motivational actions that influence purchasing behaviour of organic food. The greatest fragment of consumers are aware of organic food and the benefits it holds, advertisements and news articles encourage consumers to consume organic food to ensure a longer and healthier life (Hjelmar, 2011:338). Even with sufficient knowledge about organic food, most consumers will not purchase it...

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...chase modified food if the store does not sell organic food, they only have a physiological need of hunger to satisfy.
It is clear that most consumers has knowledge about organic food products and can make informed decisions when purchasing food products. Positive perceptions towards organic food can be seen within the consumers, but price and unavailability is the main reason why consumers restrain from purchasing it. Ethical reasons, quality of food, health, safety, and family aspects are the main reasons why consumers purchase organic food rather than modified food products. With the help of organic farmers to produce more organic products and distribute it equally, and mass media to advertise and inform consumers about the benefits of organic food, an organic consumer base can be formed in order to support the conservation of the Earth for future generations.
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