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Fresh fruit and vegetables and the added value of antioxidants: Attitudes of non‐, light, and heavy organic food users

Jos Bartels (Agricultural Economics Research Institute (LEI), Wageningen University and Research Centre, The Hague, The Netherlands)
Isabelle van den Berg (Agricultural Economics Research Institute (LEI), Wageningen University and Research Centre, The Hague, The Netherlands)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 25 October 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to focus on how to capitalise on the natural and logical alliance of nutrients in the marketing of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Design/methodology/approach

A Dutch survey study was carried out among a representative sample of the Dutch population (n=492). Respondents filled out a questionnaire on: perceptions of fresh fruit and vegetables; interest in, knowledge of, and trust in, antioxidants and fresh fruit and vegetables; domain‐specific innovativeness and social identification; means of communication; and information‐seeking and buying behaviour.

Findings

Based on consumption patterns, respondents were divided into non‐, light and heavy organic food users. Results show that there are significant differences between the three consumer groups on domain specific innovativeness, social identification and attitudes towards antioxidants in fresh fruit and vegetables.

Practical implications

Non‐users of organic food are difficult to reach with communication regarding nutrients and organic produce, in contrast to light and heavy users. Light users could be triggered by more peripheral message cues, while heavy users are more sensitive to the content of the message. Differentiated strategies for light and heavy users of organic food should be developed in order to effectively communicate the added value of nutrients in fresh fruit and vegetables.

Originality/value

This study is the first to examine the role of domain specific innovativeness and social identification in attitudes towards antioxidants in fresh fruit and vegetables. The empirical findings from this study are expected to benefit the continued development on health communication messages.

Keywords

Citation

Bartels, J. and van den Berg, I. (2011), "Fresh fruit and vegetables and the added value of antioxidants: Attitudes of non‐, light, and heavy organic food users", British Food Journal, Vol. 113 No. 11, pp. 1339-1352. https://doi.org/10.1108/00070701111179979

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited