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Organic consumers and new lifestyles: An Italian country survey on consumption patterns

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Purpose ‐ The search for quality food products is driven by cultural factors and behaviours referable to specific lifestyles which have changed greatly in recent years. This paper aims to investigate this issue by analyzing the attitudes, behaviours and knowledge concerning organic good in Italy. Design/methodology/approach ‐ This study considers the food choices of a large sample of Italians by analyzing the relations among their attitudes, behaviours and knowledge concerning organic food. Findings ‐ By means of the most recent Italian survey on the purchase of organic products, it was possible to identify various types of purchasing actors, verify their features and compare their preferences for conventional and organic products. The study demonstrates that their acceptance of organic products is strongly associated with behaviours that orientate different lifestyles among types of consumers. Moreover, a purchase simulation carried out on two kinds of food confirmed a marked willingness among consumers to accept higher costs in order to buy organic products. Originality/value ‐ This paper has proposed an approach that can be used to determine the relation between the consumption of organic products and behaviours indicative of specific lifestyles by identifying and comparing various types of purchasers.
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Keywords: Consumer behaviour; Individual perception; Italy; Organic foods

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-09-05

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