The purpose of this paper is to test the extension of the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) in an organic food buying context.
The relationships between subjective norms and attitudes and intention to buy organic food were studied by applying structural equation modelling.
The proposed modified model of the TPB model fitted the data better than the original model, implying that in the organic food‐buying context the role of subjective norms differs from the original theory of planned behaviour. In buying organic food subjective norms affected buying intention indirectly through attitude formation. In addition, results showed that the modified TPB model predicts intention to buy organic food better than the original model. Based on the results, it can be said that consumers' intentions to buy organic food can be predicted with their attitudes (R2=0.558), which can further be predicted by subjective norms (R2=0.374), and that behavioural intentions reliably predict self‐reported behaviour (R2=0.824).
First, this study concerned only organic bread and flour products, and therefore the results cannot be expected to explain consumer behaviour for all organically produced products. Second, just one retail channel of organic foods, a hypermarket, was examined. Since the different store formats have also very different characteristics (e.g. price level and number of products), it is likely that also the consumers' buying behaviour differs between different stores.
In past studies on organic food‐buying behaviour, the role of subjective norms has often been neglected – either they are not included in the models or their explanatory power has been weak.
Tarkiainen, A. and Sundqvist, S. (2005), "Subjective norms, attitudes and intentions of Finnish consumers in buying organic food", British Food Journal, Vol. 107 No. 11, pp. 808-822. https://doi.org/10.1108/00070700510629760
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