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Explaining organic food choice on the basis of socio-demographics.A study in Portugal and Germany


  • Cristina Marreiros

    () (Departamento de Gestão, Universidade de Evora and CEFAGE-UE)

  • M. Raquel Lucas

    () (Departamento de Gestão, Universidade de Evora and CEFAGE-UE)

  • Kerstin Röhrich

    (Institut für Agrar, und Stadtökologische Projekte an der Humbold, Universität zu Berlin)


Socio-demographic characteristics of consumers may be of interest for marketers for two basic reasons: their appropriateness to segment markets and their influence on consumer behaviour. Success or failure of organic food is mainly determined by the consumer. Consumers from different countries, with different ages or genders may require different product features and show varying preferences and behaviours. Therefore, it can be asked, if, in the present context of food markets, consumers’ socio-demographic characteristics have an impact on consumer behaviour and, consequently, can be used as an effective criteria to segment markets? This is the question addressed on the present paper, through empirical research on organic food products in two different markets – Germany and Portugal. From the study it could be concluded that there are good reasons for preserving socio-demographic or economic variables in food consumer research. In the research reported in this paper, some of these variables proved to be strongly associated with consumer behaviour relating to organic food products, and to be robust segmentation criteria, with the advantage of being easily identifiable, stable and accessible.

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  • Cristina Marreiros & M. Raquel Lucas & Kerstin Röhrich, 2010. "Explaining organic food choice on the basis of socio-demographics.A study in Portugal and Germany," CEFAGE-UE Working Papers 2010_03, University of Evora, CEFAGE-UE (Portugal).
  • Handle: RePEc:cfe:wpcefa:2010_03

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hanf, C.-Hennig & Patelli, P. & Saggau, Volker, 2005. "Food Risk Communication and Consumers' Trust in the Food Supply Chain," 2005 International Congress, August 23-27, 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark 24502, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. A. Gracia & L.M. Albisu, 2001. "Food consumption in the European Union: Main determinants and country differences," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(4), pages 469-488.
    3. Baker, Gregory A. & Burnham, Thomas A., 2001. "Consumer Response To Genetically Modified Foods: Market Segment Analysis And Implications For Producers And Policy Makers," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 26(2), pages 1-17, December.
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    Organic food products; consumer behaviour; segmentation; socio-demographics.;

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