Imapct factor(SJIF): 6.56
A Refereed Monthly International Journal of Management
CONSUMERS’ ATTITUDE TOWARDS ORGANIC FOOD PRODUCTS IN VADODARA – AN EXPLORATORY STUDY
Dr. Ashutosh Sandhe,
Associate Professor, TeamLease Skills University, Vadodara.
(Resi. Address: 3, Shreeram Vatika, Besides Surajdev Society, Vishvamitri Road, Manjalpur, Vadodara 390011, Ph. 9898587826, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com)
Ms. Ashwini Joshi,
Faculty, TeamLease Skills University, Vadodara.
(Resi. Address: A-15, Vrundavan Park, B/h Bright School, VIP Road, Vadodara- 390018, Ph. 9909015625, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com)
This descriptive research studies and analyses the attitude of people of Vadodara towards organic food products. Attitude was studied by application of the Tri-component Model where three major components of attitude i.e. cognition, affection and conation or purchasing intention was measured and from that the overall attitude was analysed. Based on a sample size of 200, it was found that the overall attitude for organic food products was favourable and that there was strong positive correlation between all the three components and attitude. Further, reasons for preference of organic food products were also studied along with problems faced in procurement of these products in Vadodara.“Organic food products are good for health” was found to be the most prominent reason for preference of these products and these products are not easily available everywhere was found as a major problem faced in procurement in Vadodara.
KEYWORDS: attitude, cognition, affection, conation, tri-component model.
CONSUMERS’ ATTITUDE TOWARDS ORGANIC FOOD PRODUCTS IN VADODARA – AN EXPLORATORY STUDY
India is blessed with abundant natural resources. A vast majority of its population is dependent on agriculture for their subsistence. Being such a vast country and having varied climate, different crops are cultivated in different regions of the country.
After the green revolution in the 1960s, the use of fertilizers has increased in agriculture in India. This has led to surplus growth in the production of food grains, fruits and vegetables as also increased productivity in animals with respect to dairy items. However, the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers in agriculture and allied fields has led to some serious health issues. This has led to a number of people looking for a healthier option. The solution was Organic Food Products.
Organic products are grown under a system of agriculture without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides with an environmentally and socially responsible approach. This is a method of farming that works at grass root level preserving the reproductive and regenerative capacity of the soil, good plant nutrition, and sound soil management, produces nutritious food rich in vitality which has resistance to diseases (APEDA).
Attitude is an important part of human psychology. In the area of marketing management also, lot of research has been carried out to study how attitudes are formed and how they change over time. Based on research, some important theories of attitude formation and change have been propounded in this field. Some of these theories include-
TRICOMPONENT MODEL OF ATTITUDE
The tri-component model states that attitude is made up of three components – cognitive, affective and conative.
Cognitive component comprises the knowledge and perceptions a person holds about the attitude object (product/service). They are acquired from their direct experience with the attitude object as well as information sources.
This component is about consumers’ emotions and feelings about the attitude object. They are also called evaluations as they give insight about the overall assessment of the attitude object as being “good” or “bad” or as “favourable” or “unfavourable”.
This component highlights the probability or likelihood that person will behave in a particular way with regard to the attitude object. Conative component is also considered as purchasing intention.
Attitude = Cognition + Affection + Conation
MULTI-ATTRIBUTE ATTITUDE MODELS
These models show consumer attitude as a function of their assessments of the objects’ prominent attitudes. (Schiffman, et al., 2016). There are four major models in this.
THE ELABORATION LIKELIHOOD MODEL (ELM)
ELM states that attitudes can be changed by two different routes to persuasion. A central route which is extensive method of problem solving. On the other side, the peripheral route involves limited problem solving.
This theory explains how people assign causality to events on the basis of either their own behavior or the behavior of others.
In another research conducted by S. Sadati, et al., (2010), researchers surveyed consumer attitude toward barriers of consumption for organic products (OP). The research was conducted in the Gorgan city of Golestan province in Iran.The sample size comprised 150 people through simple random sampling method by using Cochran's table. The data was collected in the form of a questionnaire. According to result of factor analysis test barriers of OP consumption were categorized into four factors as: Institutional barriers (15.75%), Feed quality barriers (15.54%), Cultural barriers (14.37%) and Economical barriers (9.43%). These factors explained about 55% of the total variance of the research variables.[ii]
As per the research conducted by Mohamed Bilal Basha et al (2015),there was increase in awareness about the effects of harmful chemicals in the food that is cultivated using chemical fertilizers and insecticides. They found that there was a growing trend to purchase organic food. The researchers fell that a study of variables that actually induces consumers to turn towards organic food is important. It was found that some of the prominent motivating factors to purchase organic foods included environmental concern, health concern and lifestyle, product quality and subjective norms. The major findings of research were that the overall awareness on Organic Food Products among the public is increasing and their attitude towards purchase intention is positive.[iii]
Rushdi Ahmed, Khadiza Rahman, (2015)conducted a research to identify and explain the factors that influence consumer buying behavior of organic foods in Bangladeshi Supermarkets.It was found through this research that lack of awareness and knowledge about organic food, lack of availability and limited range of products, high price and high regard for certification labelling were the major problems faced in demand for organic food products. The influences of these factors were found to be significant to change buying behaviour.[iv]
Dr. Madhavaiah. C., et al., (2016) studiedin their research the measurements important to customers in India connected with their pre-purchase evaluation of Organic Food Products. They tried to study the measurements important to customers in India connected with their pre purchase evaluation of Organic Food Products in Bangalore. The results of this study hinted that Indian customers' buying behavior towards organic food product is affected by the factors like: Organic product related, Certification and other regulatory factors, and their attitude (variety seeking and self-indulgence). Further, these factors had a direct and indirect effect on the while they search, purchase and consume Organic Food Products.[v]
This exploratory and descriptive research tried to study and analyse the attitude of people of Vadodara city of Gujarat towards Organic Food Products. For the purpose of this research, a sample size of 200 was considered. Probabilistic stratified random sampling was used to collect data. Occupation was considered as the strata for selection of respondents. Respondents from different occupations like service, business, profession, homemaker and students were selected in equal proportions for the survey.
Data was collected in the form of a structured questionnaire. The questionnaire was divided into six parts. First part of the questionnaire was to identify the demographic profile of respondents. The second part studied the cognitive component of attitude. Third part was to obtain data regarding affective component. Fourth part was focused on conative component. Fifth part of the questionnaire was to obtain data about reasons for preference towards Organic Food Products and the sixth and final part was to study problems in availing Organic Food Products in Vadodara.
Part two to part four of the questionnaire was on a 5 point Likert Scale with 5 as ‘Strongly Agree’ and 1 as ‘Strongly Disagree’. The last two parts of the questionnaire were based on ranks where 1 was considered as highest rank.
After collecting data, it was analysed by use of proper statistical techniques. Before conducting further analysis of the data, reliability test was conducted using Cronbach Alpha. The data was found to be highly reliable with an alpha value of 0.901. Thus, we concluded that the data could be subjected to further analysis and also that the hypotheses could be tested. For the purpose of testing the hypotheses, measures like Chi-Square, ANOVA, Mean analysis, Correlation and Regression was used.
[i]Cranfield, J, Magnusson, E, (2003), Canadian Consumer’s Willingness-To-Pay For Pesticide Free Food Products: An Ordered ProbitAnalysist, International Food and Agribusiness Management Review,Volume 6, Number 4, 2003, pp. 13 – 30.
[ii]Sadati, Seyed, Sadati, Abolghasem, Fami, H, Del, P, (2010), Survey Consumer Attitude Toward Barriers of Organic Products (OP) in Iran: A Case Study in Gorgan City, World Applied Sciences Journal 8 (11), pp. 1298-1303.
[iii]Basha, MB, Mason,C, Shamsuddin M,F, Hussain H, I, Salem M A, (2015), Consumers Attitude Towards Organic Food, Procedia Economics and Finance 31, pp.444 – 452
[iv] Ahmed R, Rahman, K, (2015), Understanding the Consumer Behaviour towards Organic Food: A Study of the Bangladesh Market, IOSR Journal of Business and Management (IOSR-JBM), Volume 17, Issue 4.Ver. VI, pp. 49-64.
[v] Dr. Madhavaiah, C, Shashikaran, L, (2016), Review Of Consumer Behavior Towards Organic Food Products In Bangalore City, Adarsh Journal of Management Research (ISSN 0974-7028) - Vol. : 9 Issue : 1, pp – 29 – 35.
Scope of the study
This study was conducted in the urban areas of Vadodara. Rural areas were not covered. Due to resource limitations, the sample size was restricted to 200. Further, individual products were not considered and the concept of organic food products was considered as group of all food products which are produced in organic form. For detailed research, analysis can be conducted for specific organic products. The scope this research can be extended to other parts of the country.
OBJECTIVES OF THE RESEARCH
The following hypotheses were formulated based on the above mentioned objectives -
H1: There is lack of knowledge and awareness about Organic Food Products in Vadodara.
H2: There is lack of feelings towards Organic Food Products in Vadodara.
H3: There is lack of purchasing intention towards Organic Food Products in Vadodara.
H4: There is lack of favorable attitude towards Organic Food Products in Vadodara.
The demographic profile of respondents can be seen from the above table.
Hypothesis -1: There is a lack of knowledge and awareness about Organic Food Products in Vadodara.
The Cognitive Component consists of a person’s cognitions, that is, the knowledge and perceptions of the features of an attitude object that the person acquired from direct experience with the attitude object and information from various sources. This knowledge and perceptions commonly are expressed as beliefs; that is, the consumer believes that the attitude object possesses or does not possess specific attributes. (Schiffman et al, 2016).
In this research, the overall awareness was found to be present for Organic Food Products in Vadodara. (Mean = 3.86, S.D. = 0.54). The mean value found was significant based on chi-square test (Chi = 46.57, p = 0.000). Therefore, it was observed that people possessed fair amount of awareness about Organic Food Products in Vadodara.
2.Table Showing Mean Values for Cognitive Factors Influencing Attitude of Respondents towards Organic Food Products in Vadodara.
A further study of the cognitive factors was made through measurement of the above variables such as “Better taste”, “Good for health”, “Good quality”, “Safe to consume”and“Value for Money”, as shown in Table No.2. The mean ranged from 3.43 (Value for Money) to 4.18 (Good for health). The overall mean for cognitive component was on the higher side. Consumers were observed to be highly aware about the benefits of consumption of Organic Food Products. Most of the consumers preferred to buy Organic Food Productsfor the fact that they considered it to be good for health. As compared to normal food products Organic Food Products are safer to consume as they are grown without the help of chemical fertilizers / pesticides and are cultivated using more sustainable techniques.
Generally it is observed that Non-Organic Food Products are cheaper than Organic Food Products. Therefore it was thought fit to analyse the opinion of respondents with respect to the cost they would have to pay for Organic Food Products. It was observed that respondents thought of Organic Food as a value for money proposition (Mean = 3.43). They felt that though in terms of price it is costlier, the benefits derived in terms of health, quality, safety and other hazards associated with consumption of non-organic products are not there in case of Organic Food Products.
Thus the overall mean values suggest that the cognitive component of attitude was found on the favorable side.
The Chi Square Values were found to be highly significant overall as well as for factors that shape the cognitive component. Thus the hypothesis that - There is a lack of knowledge and awareness about Organic Food Products in Vadodara was rejected and the alternative hypothesis that the Consumers have significant knowledge and awareness about Organic Food Products in Vadodara.
Hypothesis -2: There is a lack of feelings towards Organic Food Products in Vadodara.
Another important factor to measure consumers’ attitude is affection. Therefore in the following table we have measured the affective factors.
The Affective component represents the consumers’ emotions and feelings regarding the attitude object, which are considered evaluations, because they capture his or her global assessment of the attitude object (i.e. the extent to which the individual rates the attitude object as “favourable” or “unfavourable,” “good” or “bad”). 
In this particular research Affective Component was measured by study of opinions of respondents in terms of preference, overall goodness, appeal, and their feelings towards Organic Food Products.
In the later part of the research we have tried to explore the reasons for preference and also study problems faced in buying Organic Food Products. (Table No. 3)
The Chi Square Values were found to be highly significant overall as well as for factors that shape the affective component. Thus the hypothesis that - There is a lack of feelings towards Organic Food Products in Vadodara was rejected and the alternative hypothesis that feelings towards Organic Food Products in Vadodara are positive.
Hypothesis -3: There is a lack of purchasing intention towards Organic Food Products in Vadodara.
Conative components are a part of measurement of Consumers’ Attitude. Therefore we have measured the conative factors in Table No. 4.
The conative component reflects the likelihood that an individual will undertake a specific action or behave in a particular way with regard to the attitude object. In consumer research, the conative component is treated as an expression of the consumer’s intention to buy.
The overall mean for Conative component was found to be on the higher side (Mean = 3.69). The factor with the lowest mean was found to be willingness to increase spending on purchase of Organic Food Products (3.55). The overall willingness to buy Organic Food Products was high as can be seen from the mean value of 3.77. It implies that if given a choice, the respondents were willing to buy more of organic products.
In the analysis of the cognitive component it was found that Organic Food Products are value for money (3.43). While in the analysis of the affective component it was found that Organic Food Products are costlier compared to Non-Organic Products (4.21). Therefore it can be inferred that although Organic Food Products are costlier, they offer good value for money and therefore consumers are likely to buy Organic Food Products.
Thus, it was observed that overall likelihood of purchasing Organic Food Products in Vadodara was high. Based on the chi-square values and significance levels, the hypothesis H3 was rejected and alternative hypothesis that there is high purchasing intention to buy Organic Food Products in Vadodara.
Hypothesis -4: There is a lack of favorable attitude towards Organic Food Products in Vadodara.
As per the Tri-Component Model, attitude is formed through the impact of cognitive component, affective component and affective component. Through the previous hypotheses it was established that the overall response for factors leading to all the three components individually was positive. This can be seen in the above Table No. 5. The mean values of all the components was above 3 on a 5 point scale. Even the mean for attitude was 3.69 which suggested that the people of Vadodara have positive attitude towards Organic Food Products. Further tests revealed that all the mean values were significant. Hence the hypothesis that there is a lack of favorable attitude towards Organic Food Products in Vadodara is rejected and alternative hypothesis that there is favorable attitude towards Organic Food Products in Vadodara is accepted.
Attitude (3.69) = Cognition (3.77) + Affection (3.55) + Conation (3.76).
Inter-relationships between Factors Affecting Attitude for Organic Food Products in Vadodara
It was established in the previous part that the attitude towards Organic Food Products is positive in Vadodara. Since, there was favourable attitude and all the hypotheses were rejected, it was though fit to further study the relationships between all the variables leading to attitude formation. For this, correlation analysis was carried out which is shown in Table No. 6.
(Two-tailed Correlation significant at 0.01)
From Table No.6, it can be observed that there is a strong positive correlation between (i) 3 components and attitude and (ii) 3 components internally. Of all the variables, cognitive component had the strongest correlation with attitude (r=0.929, p=0.000). All the components had a strong and positive relationship with attitude. It was also observed that there was strong and positive relationship between the three components per se. Among them, the strongest relationship was observed between cognitive and affective component (r=0.73, p=0.000). The weakest relationship was observed between conative and affective component (r=0.458, p=0.000). Thus, there was strong positive correlation between all the components.
After having studied the relationships between components affecting attitude for Organic Food Products in Vadodara, the next logical step was to predict the changes in attitude due to changes in the three components. This was done using regression. For the purpose of regression modelling the components of attitude i.e. cognition, affection and conation were used as independent variables and consumer attitude as dependent variable. Following Research Methodology was used in this research:
Y1i = β0 + β1X1i + β2X2i + β3X3i + µi
In this equation, i is considered as sample size from 1 to 200. Y is the attitude towards Organic Food Products in Vadodara, X1 is cognitive component X2 is affective component and X3 is conative component. µ is the random error term. The following Table No.7 shows results of regression analysis.
Table No. 7showing the impact of components on attitude towards Organic Food Products in Vadodara.
From Table No.7, following regression equation was formulated,
Attitude towards Organic Food Products = 0.005
+ 0.335 Affection
+ 0.334 Conation
The overall R2 for the equation was found to be 0.755. The F value (F= 59.324, p = 0.000) was found to be highly significant at 1% level. Based on these results and the ensuing regression equation it was found that all the three components emerged as having similar impact on attitude. Since the unstandardized β for all components was positive, it could be inferred that the three components had positive or impact on attitude towards Organic Food Products. Thus it is clear that in Vadodara as awareness and perception increases it is likely to have favourable impact on Consumers’ Attitude towards Organic Food Products. Same can be said about Consumers’ feelings and their likelihood to buy. In other words, as people get more knowledge about Organic Food Productstheir feelings will be positive. This in turn could enhance purchasing intention for Organic Food Productsand the overall impact of all these factors would result in favourable or positive attitude towards Organic Food Productsin Vadodara.
The marketing implications of these results are noteworthy if marketers of Organic Food Products increase the knowledge and awareness regarding these products, it would result into positive feelings and ultimately increased consumption.
REASONS FOR PREFERENCE TOWARDS ORGANIC FOOD PPRODUCTS IN VADODARA.
It was proved through the earlier Hypotheses that there is favorable attitude for Organic Food Products in Vadodara. Therefore, logically it was decided to study and analyse reasons for preference towards these products.
(Significance at 5%, SD – Standard Deviation, Sig. - Significance)
The most prominent reason for preference of Organic Food Products for people is that they find Organic Food Products good for health (Mean = 1.46). Another important reason for preference of Organic Food Products was that it eco-friendly (Mean = 2.39). While the least important factor for preference of Organic Food Products was found to be the ease of availability. Ease of availability and medication were not found to be prominent reasons for shaping the buying behavior of respondents. Although the purchasing intention of respondents was considerably high, it was found thatOrganic Food Products were not as easily available at general stores as Non-Organic Food Products.
The mean analysis as given in Table No.8was found to be highly significant as can be seen from the t-values. All the reasons and their means wear found to be highly significant.
PROBLEMS FACED IN CONSUMPTION OF ORGANIC FOOD PRODUCTS IN VADODARA.
Though there was high preference for Organic Food Products in Vadodara, respondents were of the opinion that there are certain problems in consumption of these products. Following Table No.9 highlights some of the problems faced by respondents in consumption of Organic Food Products in Vadodara.
(Significance at 5%, SD – Standard Deviation, Sig. - Significance)
The most noticeable problem faced by respondents was that the Organic Food Products were not easily available everywhere (Mean = 2.07). Another problem faced by respondents was that Organic Food Products are highly priced (Mean = 2.14). Ascompared to Non-Organic Products they are costlier. Consumers also doubted the credibility of Organic Food Products as they found that often Non-Organic Products are marketed as Organic Food Products (Mean = 2.68). Also as there is a lack of certifying authority for Organic Food Products the authenticity of Organic Food Products is doubted. Problems such as familiar taste (Mean = 4.04), limited range of products (Mean = 3.32)and no noticeable benefits of consumption of Organic Food Products (Mean = 4.04) were found to have no considerable impact on the shaping the consumers’ attitude towards Organic Food Products.
The mean values were found to be highly significant for each and every problem cited in the above Table No.9 as can be seen from the t-values and p-values. This means that though the attitude towards Organic Food Products is favourable, there are certain problems faced in consumption of Organic Food Products in Vadodara.
Based on our analysis in earlier part of this research, following were the major findings of this research-
From the data collected and further analysis, it could be concluded that though the current demand for organic food products is not very high and that people tend to consume non-organic food products, the attitude is changing. More people are getting to know the benefits of organic food products. Also, the purchasing intention for these products is positive which means that people are showing a willingness to purchase these products. If the problems faced in procuring these products are resolved or alleviated, in the near future, there could be a sharp rise in consumption of organic food products in Vadodara.
Schiffman L, Wisenblit J, Kumar S R, Consumer Behaviour, Pearson India Edu Services India Pvt. Ltd., Ed 11, 2016, pp. 174-175.
Schiffman L, Wisenblit J, Kumar S R, Consumer Behaviour, Pearson India Edu Services India Pvt. Ltd., Ed 11, 2016, pp. 174.
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