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The decision to buy organic food products in Southern Italy

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Purpose ‐ The aim of the paper is to investigate the consumers' decision-making process for organically produced foods in Italy. Design/methodology/approach ‐ A structural equation modelling approach has been used with information provided by a survey conducted in Italy (Naples). Findings ‐ Results indicate that consumer' attitudes towards organic food, in particular towards the health attribute and towards the environment are the most important factors that explain consumers' decision-making process for organic food products. Moreover, it has been found that larger information on the organic food market, which drives to a higher consumers' organic food knowledge, is important because it positively influences consumers' attitudes towards organic food products. Finally, consumers who try to follow a healthy diet and balanced life are likely to have more positive attitudes towards organic food products and towards the environment, inducing a more likely intention to purchase organic foods. Originality/value ‐ Findings provide more evidence on consumers' underlying motivations to buy organic food to the already existing evidence in Europe to evaluate the future implementation of the recently approved Regulation (EC) no. 834/2007 of 28 June 2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products. In addition, empirical results would help local policy makers to establish appropriate market strategies to develop the future demand for these products.

Keywords: Consumer behaviour; Food products; Italy; Organic foods

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00070700810900620

Publication date: September 5, 2008

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