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Consumer Behavior Toward Organic Product In India
Master of commerce – First semester
PoojaBhagavat Memorial Mahajana Education Center , Mysore
Availability of organic input and output is critical for improveof organic
forming in the country. Developmentof efficient marketing system is the need of the hour
for strengthening the organic production in India. This paper made a humble attempt to
understanding the consumer perception about organic productand marketing in india.
The results concluded that mostof the consumer especially in urban people prefer organic
food product. Marketing of organic productis so poor in India so the demand for organic
productis increases but supply is very low. The major reasons areorganic producer are
low, adequate marketfacility is not there, few number of shops, lack of awareness, and so
on. Thereforeif farmer as well as governmentgive interest to organic farming easily
enhancing good marketing systemin India.
Ever sincethe concept of organic food got famous in the country, India has
emerged as one of the largest markets in the world for organic food.
The organic foods or products are healthy, contain no chemicals or
preservatives, aretotally natural and are much better than any form of non-organic foods.
Organic food is a productwhich is made without the help of any kind of pesticides,
herbicides or insecticides.
Health,consumer behaviorattitude,: Organic products, price,Keywords
consciousness, consumer satisfaction , purchase
There is no common definition of “organic” due to the fact that different
countries have different standard for products to be certified “organic”. In simplest words
organic foods are minimally processed to maintain the integrity of the food without
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artificial ingredients, preservatives or irradiation. Organic products areobtained by
processes friendly to the environment, by cultivation techniques that consider both the
attributes of the final productand the production methods. A wide rangeof consumers of
organic food and non organic food were addressed and scrutinized to obtain their
observations and visions towards organic food. Allorganic food consumers arenot having
the samemethod of approach towards organic food. Subsequently the statistical process
guides us to comprehend the relation and the model of the consumer behavior trends in
organic food in India. The Definition of the word “Organic”, an ecological management
production systemthat promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil
biological activity. Itis based on the minimal useof off-farm inputs and on management
practices that restore, maintain and enhance “ecological harmony” (NationalStandards
Board of the US Departmentof Agriculture) (USDA).
More of the research was done in the countries related to organic food
consumers. A review on Organic food consumption demonstrates that efforts have been
made to inspectcustomers' view of Organic food, calculates factors that have encouraged
or kept the Organic food consumption decision, buyers'states of mind, and additionally
explanations behind buy/non-buy.
of the studyImportant
This study attempted to gain knowledgeabout consumer attitude towards
organic food products Consumption and Market potential of Organic food product
. (2013). A study on consumers’ purchaseintentions towardsRaghavan, N. and Mageh, R
organic products .Previous studies haveprovided a general analysis of the major
motivations that stand behind the organic food buying behavior of consumers.
With the growth of health consciousness and environmentalismamong.)2015(Paul et al.,
the Indian consumers, organic products havebecomea popular alternative to switch from
inorganic or synthetic consumption to organic consumerism. Indian consumersare
gradually seeking organic products notonly in the food sectors but also in other sectors
such as organic cosmetics, organic cloths or fabrics etc. This increase in awareness is due
to the various environmentaland health issues that have emerged during the last decade .
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Theincreasein awareness has to be supported by various other.)2011(ier et al.,Cherr
marketing and promotional strategies by the Indian governmentand marketers to
reinforcethe purchasing pattern of the consumers and changethe perception towards the
organic products positively.
Salvadr v.Gariboy and Katke Jyothi: Market opportunities and Challenges for Indian
A largeshareof research reveals the.;Yiridoe et al., 2005:198:101)2007(Hughner et al.,
fact that among many motivating factors for organic consumption, health factor of the
organic products has been identified as the primary factor.
ORGANIC FARMING IN INDIA
The approach and outlook towards agricultureand marketing of food has seen
a quantum change worldwideover the last few decades. Whereas earlier the seasons and
the climate of an area determined whatwould be grown and when, today it is the
"market" that determines what it wants and what should be grown. The focus is now more
on quantity and "outer" quality (appearance) rather than intrinsic or nutritional quality,
also called "vitality". Pesticide and other chemical residues in food and an overall reduced
quality of food have led to a marked increase in various diseases, mainly various forms of
cancer and reduced bodily immunity. This immense commercialization of agriculturehas
also had a very negative effect on the environment. The use of pesticides has led to
enormous levels of chemical buildup in our environment, in soil, water, air, in animals and
even in our own bodies. Fertilizers have a short-term effect on productivity but a longer-
term negative effect on the environment wherethey remain for years after leaching and
running off, contaminating ground water and water bodies. The useof hybrid seeds and
the practice of monoculture have led to a severethreat to local and indigenous varieties,
whosegermplasmcan be lost forever. All of this is for "productivity". In thename of
growing moreto feed the earth, we have taken the wrong road of unsustainability. The
effects already show - farmers committing suicidein growing numbers with every passing
year; the horrendous effects of pesticide sprays by a government-owned plantation in
Kerala someyears ago; the pesticide contaminated bottled water and aerated beverages
are only someinstances. The bigger picture that rarely makes news however is that
millions of people are still underfed and where they do get enough to eat, the food they
eat has the capability to eventually kill them. Yet, the picture painted for the future by
agro-chemicaland seed companies and governments is rosy and bright.Another negative
effect of this trend has been on the fortunes of the farming communities worldwide. This
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is whereorganic farming comes in. Organic farming has the capability to take care of each
of these problems. Besides the obvious immediate and positiveeffects organic or natural
farming has on the environmentand quality of food, it also greatly helps a farmer to
become self-sufficientin his requirements for agro-inputs, and reducehis costs. Chemical
agriculture and the agriculture and food distribution systems havedeveloped, propagated,
sustained and now sharea symbiotic relationship which affects each of us in many ways.
Organic farming was practiced in India since thousands of years. Thegreat Indian
civilization thrived on organic farming and was one of the most prosperous countries in
the world, till the British ruled it. In traditional India, the entire agriculture was practiced
using organic techniques, wherethe fertilizers, pesticides, etc., wereobtained from plant
and animal products. Organic farming was the backboneof the Indian economy and cow
was worshipped (and is still done so) as a god. The cow, not only provided milk, but also
provided bullocks for farming and dung which was used as fertilizers.
Certification of the organic food products is the major concern for the
producers to provethe authencity for their productand generate consumer confidence.
Governmenthas shown positive signs by improving the status of the certification agencies.
The process of the certification is well defined, although it is costly for smallfarmers.
the StudyObjectives of
1/ ORGANIC FARMING IN INDIA
To study Organic FoodPreference.2/
3/ To study the advantages of organic farming for small farmers.
4/ To study the Purchase intentiontowards Organic FoodProducts.
5/ To study the Purchase Behavior Towards Organic Food
To understandthe consumer preference towards organic foodpurchase.6/
7/ To identify the buying patternof Organic food.
8/ To study purchase intentiontowards of Organic food
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SCOPE AND IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY
With rising concern of health issues and food safety, many consumers have
turned their site to organic products. The increased consumers'interestin organic food
has been attributed among others to the growing demand for food free from pesticides
and chemical residues. Organic food promotes a balance of human, other living organisms
and the nature. Italso promotes no artificial preservatives and best maintain the
originality of food. This prevents excess use harmfulingredients and thereby ensures
health. This study attempted to gain knowledgeabout consumer attitude towards organic
food product consumption and to see whether there is any potential this might have for
changing their behaviour. The rationale for carrying outthis study is that consideration for
the environmentcould come only from well-informed citizens who are awareof, and fully
committed to their rights to a quality health and environment. Nevertheless, beforeany
behaviour can be changed, it is necessary to evaluate the current state of consumers’
awareness and knowledge. Thereforeconsumer’s attitude, perception towards organic
food products, willingness to pay for organic food product and intention to purchase
organic food will be the main agenda of this study.
Organic Food Preference
Consumers generally make their choices considering the product information,
productattributes and evaluating the consequences of using the product. Consumers
consider health as an important parameter and then they buy the product. There are
various reasons consumer prefer to buy organic food. The consumers prefer organic food
due to some of their demographic characteristics. Households with graduates wereless
likely to buy organic produce,whilehouseholds with children under 18 were morelikely to
buy organic produce1 Females and individuals with more education and income have
more awareness and knowledgeof food hazardous to health2. As per the research,
organic consumer profile includes demographic variables, life style and environmental
attitudes. The regular organic food consumer is educated, affluent and of a higher social
class3. Itwas found that there is strong correlation between increasing consumption of
organic food and the level of formaleducation. Organic consumers havewillingness to pay
10% premium for organic food productwith an average of 9.5% by women and 11.4% by
men4. A widely held belief in the organic trade circle is that price and income do not
necessarily track organic sales5. There are various factors that impact the consumer
preference to buy organic food products.
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GIVEN BELOW ARE SOME OF THE ADVANTAGES OF
ORGANIC FARMING FOR SMALL FARMERS
High premium: Organic food is normally priced 20 - 30% higher than
conventional food. This premium is very important for a small farmer whose
income is justsufficient to feed his/her family with one meal.
Low investment: Organic farming normally does not involvecapital
investment as high as that required in chemical farming. Further, sinceorganic
fertilizers and pesticides can be produced locally, the yearly costs incurred by
the farmer are also low. Agriculturegreatly depends on external factors such
as climate, pests, disease. Furthermore, mostof the small farmers are
dependent on natural rain for water. Therefore in cases of natural calamity,
pest or disease attack, and irregular rainfall, when there is a crop failure, small
farmers practicing organic farming haveto suffer less as their investments are
low. (Itshould be noted that while shifting from chemical farming to organic
farming, the transition might be costly).
Less dependence on money lenders: Many small farmers worldwide
commit suicide Since chemical inputs, which are very costly, are not required
in organic farming, smallfarmers are not dependent on money lenders. Crop
failure, therefore, does not leave an organic farmer into enormous debt, and
does not forcehim to take an extreme step.
Synergy with life forms: Organic farming involves synergy with various
plant and animal life forms. Small farmers areable to understand this synergy
easily and hence find it easy to implement them.
Traditional knowledge: Small farmers have abundanceof traditional
knowledgewith them and within their community. Most of this traditional
knowledgecannot be used for chemical farming. However, when it comes to
organic farming, the farmers can make use of the traditional knowledge.
Further, in case of organic farming, small farmers arenot dependent on those
who providechemical know-how.
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Huge export markets.
Organized retail enhancing distribution system.
Increasing health consciousness among consumers.
.High prices of organic food
Lack of integrated supply chain and difficulties for farmers.
The market is highly competitive with large number of producers and
promoters. India enjoys comparativeadvantageof being an agricultural country at a
predominant stagewith larger quantities of production. Major shareof the market is
occupied by promoters who are involved in the distribution of these products to the end
consumers through various retailoutlets.
Organic food is not so much popular in India.Organic food involves high costof
production and generally the price of organic food is 25% higher than the original because
they are produced on small scale.
Consumer survey indicates that the public is concerned about the safety of the
producethat they purchasein stores due to possiblepesticides contamination.Consumer
often prefer to purchasetastier varieties grown locally under organic conditions in proper
handling of organic food after harvestmay resultin productcontamination and in food
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Organic food is not easily available in the market because of small scale
production. The demand assessmentof organic food is difficult to determinebecause of its
This Study deals with the organic foodindustry in India. Thestudy also aims at
understanding the factors influencing the popularity of organic food in India.Thefactors
under consideration are health awareness, high prices, weak marketing, high cost of
production and small scale farming.
: is organic moreIn the organic sector we often hear the question
expensive, and why is that? The fact is organic foods arenot moreexpensive when
considering social, economic, political and environmental dimensions, butto understand
that statement we have to look at who and what pays for the true costs of food
production. Non-organic agricultureis subsidized in mostpart of the world. In other
words, if the market does not pay what it costs to grow a crop the government often steps
in with a subsidy to the farmers. Then ItIs The Tax Payers Who Pays. Themost important
Costs for Organic Agricultureare the Costs for the Consultants, Inspection & Certification
Process. Certified by National organic standard board , USDA, etc.
Purchase intention towards Organic Food Products
Consumer buying intention is based on attitude. Pastresearch has supported
the factor attitude is an important motivation factor, which influence purchaseintention.
Positive attitude leads to the positive perception and hence it
motivates the consumer towards the productor service. Attitude can be
developed based on internal and external stimulation the consumer has observed or
experienced. Voon et al. (2011) in their study investigated the determinants of willingness
to purchaseorganic food among consumers in a Malaysian city, using a questionnaire
survey. Theresults indicated that efforts to promote consumption growth should focus on
influencing consumer attitudes. Tsarkiridou et al. (2008) found from their study that
organic food products arebelieved to be healthier and higher quality than conventional
food products. They found that care for the environment and health were important
factors in the purchaseof organic food products. Lea & Worsley (2005) examined
consumers’ beliefs about organic foods and their relationship with socialdemographics and
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self-transcendence(universal, benevolence) personalvalues in Australia. The majority of
the participants in the study believed organic food to be healthier, tastier and better for
the environmentthan conventional food. However, expense and lack of availability were
strong barriers to the purchasing or organic foods. The results indicated that, generally,
women were more positive about organic food than men. The personalvalue factor
related to nature, environment and equality were the dominant predictor of positive
organic food beliefs, followed by sex. A study by Fillion and Arazi(2002), found that
organic orange juice was perceived as tasting better than conventional orange juice.
Purchase Behavior Towards Organic Food
Raghavan and Megeh (2013) studied the consumers’ purchaseintentions
towards organic products in Chennai city. The findings of the study showed that
perceptions towards organic food product had the strongestrelationship with the buyer’s
intention to buy organic food product. A study carried out by Padiya and Vala (2012) in
Ahmedabad city, illustrated the organic food consumers as less price sensitive, believers in
quality and information; generally seek information from newspaper, magazines and at
the point of purchase. Shafieand Rennie (2012) study found thatprice was the restrain
factor towards organic food consumption. Balaji and Bhama (2012) critically analyzed the
consumer perception towards organic food products in India. The findings of the study
revealed a significant relationship between various psychographic factors on the overall
satisfaction of consumers towards organic food products. Sakthirama and Venkatram
(2012) analysed thepurchaseintention of organic consumers in Coimbatore city, India
and the findings revealed that purchaseintention of consumers towards organic food
products was influenced by attitude and knowledgeand familiarity to consumers.
Sangkumchaliang and Huang (2012) analyzed consumers’perceptions and attitudes or
organic food products in Northern Thailand. Their Results indicated that the main reasons
for purchasing organic food products are an expectation of a healthy and environmentally
friendly means of production. Further, the results showed that buyers tend to be older
and higher educated than those who do not buy them. Saleki et al. (2012) in their study in
Iran, determined the influence of organic knowledge, quality, price consciousness,
subjectivenorms and familiarity on attitude and organic buying behavior. Vlahovic et al.
(2011), in a study in Serbia, analyzed the consumer attitude towards organic food
consumption. The prime objective of that study was to identify the determinant factors
that influence the demand and consumption of organic products and to examine
consumers’ preferences, motives thatresulted in purchasing organic food products in
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Serbia. The findings showed that most of the consumers werenot adequately informed
about the importance of organic food consumption; high price was found to be a limiting
factor and fruits and vegetables were the mostly preferred and purchased organic
products. Chakrabarti(2010), in a study in India, related the consumers’ attitude as one of
the importantfactors which influences the purchaseprocess of organic food consumers.
The study used descriptivesurvey and explanatory survey. The results indicated that the
influence of customer value towards organic food products had a significantinfluence to
the customer loyalty for the organic food products. Gupta (2009) explored the consumer
behavior for food products in India. The study found that though quality of food products
was one of the most important parameters for food product purchasedecision, people did
not see much improvement in the quality related parameters for food items during the
last ten years. People rated various parameters differently for different productgroups.
The results also indicated that cleanliness and free from pesticides werethe most
important criteria for products like food grains, pulses; storequality, marketing mix and
taste, flavour explained the maximum variance in the purchasedecision of fruitand
vegetables. Choo et al. (2004) studied purchasing behaviour of new food productamong
innovator groups in India. They have found that consumers’ attitudes will positively affect
Indian consumers’ intention to buy new processed foods. Besides, in India the experts also
rated the attitude of the consumer is one of the most importantfactors in the organic
consumers’ purchaseprocess. Ajzen (2002)indicated that the more favourablethe
attitude with respect to behaviour, the stronger is the individual’s intention to performthe
behaviour under consideration and showed that when behaviours poseno serious
problems of control, they can be predicted from intentions with considerableaccuracy.
The result of researches shows thatthere is a positive relation between attitude toward
organic food and buying intention of organic food (Chan & Lau, 2000; Aertsens et al., 2009;
Gracia & Magistris, 2007). Thehigher of attitude scoretoward organic food, the higher of
buying intention of organic food.
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If weanalyze the markets of the organic food then initially total marketfor
organic food in India was valued at USD 129.3 million in the year 2008.Sinceorganic food
offer more health benefits than the conventional food, Governmentof India is leading
fromthe frontto ensure multi fold growth in organic market. Exports of organic food
market are expected to grow further in the near future.
1/ Allocation of separate shares for organic food products in departmental
2/ The study shows that further steps have to be taken to increasethe
awareness level of organic products. Governmentcan increase the trend for consumption
of organic foods by increasing public awareness (such as programs and advertisements in
TV and other channels) and further governmentshould come forward to provide subsidy
for organic producers.
3/ Organic food particularly fruits and vegetables are highly quality, nutritious
and taste better. The same can be maintained to hang on to current customers and focus
on new customers by increasing availability of the products.
Consumer behavior involves the psychologicalprocesses thatconsumers go
through in recognizing the needs, finding ways to solvethese needs; collect and interpret
information; make plans and implement these plans, making purchasedecisions and post-
purchasebehavior. Previous research has indicated that consumer behavior is changing
towards purchaseof many environmentally-friendly and organic products, due to
awareness of environmentaldegradation and the related issues. The emergence of
organic shops in markets supports thesame and create the awareness to stimulate the
customer need, wants and demand.
There is also a risein concern that organic agricultureis essential in preserving
the environmentand in improving public health. Promotion of organic food is not only
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beneficial for producers, butalso will respond to consumers’ desirefor higher food quality
and food production that is less damaging to environment. The actions that people take
and the choices they make to consumecertain products and services havedirect and
indirect impacts on the environment, as well as on personalwell-being (Jackson, 2005).
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Raghavan, N. and Mageh, R. (2013). A study on consumers’ purchaseintentions towards
organic products. Indian Journalof Research, Vol.2(1), pp.111-114
Consumer Acceptance Towards Organic FoodMohamedBilal Basha1, Cordelia Mason2,
Mohd Farid Shamsudin1, HafezaliIqbalHussain1, Milad AbdelnabiSalem1, Azlan Ali1
1UNIKL Business School2Unirazak GraduateSchoolof Business Corresponding Author
Salvadr v.Gariboy and Katke Jyothi: Market opportunities and Challenges for Indian
)2015(Paul et al.,
)0112(Cherrier et al.,
;Yiridoe et al., 2005:198:101)2007(Hughner et al.,