When it comes to buying organic or supporting organic agriculture, more than just a product is being represented in the decision-making process. As consumers make everyday purchases, it represents what we value. The psychological process is multifaceted and has been shown to be influenced by values, attitude, and concerns. There is a driving psychological force behind our choice of action. Culturally, values vary but it is still a motivating factor when it comes to buying habits. In a study between Germany and the UK, both had different values, but each motivated organic purchasing. In this study, Baker et al. (2004) found three different values to be the main influence: Value in health and positive effects of organic food (security); value in protecting nature, animals and workers (universalism); or hedonistic motives of better taste.
The psychological aspect of attitude is complex. While an individual may have strong beliefs that support the personal and societal benefits of organic, there are variables that make purchasing organic impossible like availability or affordability. This is call the attitude-behavior gap: Variables mediating between attitudes and behavior and variables moderating this relation (Armitage & Christian, 2003).
The third psychological influence that affects purchasing choices is concern. This is different from the previous two beliefs of value and attitude because concern can be perceived as a health threat. Health concerns connected to conventional food are the most relevant motivator to buy organic food (Hughner et al., 2003). The protection-motivation theory assumes that a motivation to protect oneself against health or other threats results from the evaluation of two factors: (a) how big is the threat for me personally and (b) how effective are coping measures I can take (R. W. Rogers, 1975). The protection-motivation theory has been used in recent studies to show the correlation of fear and health concerns when it came to buying organic.
In addition to the three influences mentioned above, Klockner (2010) described an integrated modelling framework, “consumer behavior with respect to organic food is not the result of one decision but a series of decisions nested in each other.” Other factors taken into consideration are: Availability, visibility, price, trust, in addition to a few theories of behavior.
Cover briefly environment issues
Cover obstacles and variables availability money
Review of Literature
The demand for organically produced goods have continued to increase over the last decade. For example, the total retail sales of organic food and beverages in the USA rose from $178 million in 1980 to $1 billion in 1990, $7.8 billion in 2000, and $23 billion in 2008 (Illukpitiya P., Khanal P., 2016). In general, the main motivating factor to buying organic food and products comes from a perception of its health and environmental benefits. One of the biggest influences that keep consumers from purchasing organic is a lack of awareness and education. Increased consumer awareness of organic labeling and their trust in organic labels as well as increasing the availability and range of organic food products may be the most effective way of increasing their market share. (Illukpitiya P., Khanal P., 2016)
Empirical literature on consumer surveys reveals that consumers’ socioeconomic characteristics such as age, gender, level of education, income level, household size as well as the level of consumers’ awareness and perceptions, product price, taste, size, freshness, and cleanness tend to influence consumers’ willingness-to-pay (WTP) for organic food products. Studies have shown inconsistent measurements within these demographics or thresholds of WTP, which shows the complexity in measuring behavior and intentions.