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Consumers’ beliefs, attitudes, and loyalty in purchasing organic foods : The standard learning hierarchy approach

Hyun-Joo Lee (Design, Housing and Merchandising, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA)
Cynthia Goudeau (Design, Housing and Merchandising, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 27 May 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to apply the standard learning hierarchy to the study of organic foods. More specifically, this research is intended to examine if cognition in the form of beliefs and utilitarian attitudes, affect in the form of hedonic attitudes, and behavior in the form of attitudinal loyalty and behavioral loyalty occur successively.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 725 consumer panel data were obtained through a web-based survey. A two-stage structural equation modeling with AMOS graphics version 18.0 was used to validate the measurement models and test the proposed hypotheses.

Findings

While health benefits positively influenced utilitarian attitudes, no significant effect of ecological welfare benefits was detected. The results also indicate that utilitarian attitudes had a significant and positive relationship with hedonic attitudes, which in turn led to attitudinal loyalty. Lastly, the relation between attitudinal loyalty and behavioral loyalty was significant and positive.

Research limitations/implications

Global attitudes and loyalty toward organic foods were examined in this research. Thus, future research could investigate more domain-specific attitudes and loyalty to various organic food items.

Practical implications

The development of positive attitudes toward organic foods among consumers is important for the long-term success of organic food products or brands.

Originality/value

There is a little research that adopts an established theory or theoretical approach to explain a purchase behavior of organic foods. For this reason, the standard learning hierarchy was incorporated in order to study how cognition, affect, and behavior are formed when a purchase decision involving organic foods.

Keywords

Citation

Lee, H.-J. and Goudeau, C. (2014), "Consumers’ beliefs, attitudes, and loyalty in purchasing organic foods : The standard learning hierarchy approach", British Food Journal, Vol. 116 No. 6, pp. 918-930. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-02-2013-0030

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited