What does consumer science tell us about organic foods?

C. Ritson*, M. Brennan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This chapter is concerned with consumer perceptions of environmental and nutritional aspects of organically produced foods and their impact upon the market for organic products. We use market and survey data for the UK as a case study to illustrate the answer to the question 'What Does Consumer Science Tell Us?' This chapter reflects on the different the aspects of consumer science; in particular, drawing on the results of a large survey of UK consumers conducted under the EU Framework 6 Project 'Improving quality and safety and reduction of cost in the European organic and low input supply chains' (known as QLIF). First, recent developments in the UK market for organic food are outlined. This is followed by showing how analysis of market data can help to explain what has caused the recent (rapid) growth in sales of organic food products. Next, there is a brief review of the reasons why consumers choose to purchase organic products, drawing mainly on various pieces of qualitative research. The remainder of the chapter is based on the Newcastle survey of UK consumer attitudes to organic and low-input food products.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHealth Benefits of Organic Food
Subtitle of host publicationEffects of the Environment
EditorsIan Givens, Samantha Baxter, Anne Marie Minihane, Elizabeth Shaw
PublisherCABI Publishing
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9781845934590
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sep 2008

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