Department of Marketing

The Impact of Different Types of Concernment on the Consumption of Organic Food

Previous research has mainly focused on consumers' environmental values and attitudes to explain green consumption. However, it has been neglected how situational factors like the way a consumer is affected by the impacts of environmental pollution influence environmental attitudes and the demand for organic food products. To fill this void, we firstly introduce a taxonomy of different types of factual concernment and perceived concern. Factual concernment describes the manner in which a person is affected by the negative consequences of environmental pollution, whereas perceived concern expresses an anxious sense of interest. Building on that taxonomy, an experimental study analyses how four types of factual concernment (direct vs. indirect; material vs. immaterial) influence consumers' perceived concerns (in terms of environmental and health concern) as well as the readiness to gather information, the readiness to make sacrifices, the willingness to pay higher prices and purchase intentions. The study reveals that particularly direct concernment fosters the consumption of organic food. However, the study did not find any differences between the influences of material and immaterial concernment on the organic food purchase decision.

Hoffmann, S.; Schlicht, J. (2013) The Impact of Different Types of Concernment on the Consumption of Organic Food, International Journal of Consumer Studies, 37 (6), 625-633.