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An inquiry on organic food confusion in the consumer perception: a qualitative perspective

Mustafa Abdül Metin Dinçer (Sakarya Business School, Sakarya University, Sakarya, Turkey)
Yusuf Arslan (Sakarya Business School, Sakarya University, Sakarya, Turkey)
Semih Okutan (Sakarya Business School, Sakarya University, Sakarya, Turkey)
Esra Dil (Sakarya Business School, Sakarya University, Sakarya, Turkey)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 8 August 2022

Issue publication date: 21 March 2023

805

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to reveal consumer perceptions towards organic food, particularly emphasizing the confusion and vagueness in the public eye.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 21 well-educated and relatively high-income consumers were selected as cases of the study. The knowledge about the organic food concept and organic food preferences were analyzed through the grounded theory analysis. In this analysis, ten categories which are shopping from the close circle, the product information attitude, do it yourself (DIY), true and false facts and dilemmas, information sources, the most preferred organic products, perception of organic food indicator, market place trends, organic food orientation reasons, and attitude toward the organic products/producers were detected as the main issues.

Findings

The authors chose the cases from well-educated people who have a relatively high income, and it is seen that the knowledge levels of consumers are low regarding organic foods. This low-level knowledge becomes apparent in confused and erroneous answers and actions. The confusion over the organic food concept and the institutional image appear as two main findings of the study. The authors named this false fact as organic confusion and dilemmas in this analysis. According to the study’s results, there is a considerable amount of confusion over healthy and natural food contexts.

Originality/value

This study aims to bring a comprehensive delineation to the general perception of the organic food concept in society. And it reveals a detailed feedback for the institutions and companies on how to solve organic food problems such as confusion, institutional image problem, and false facts. Although organic product knowledge is shown as a critical factor in many studies in the literature, the number of studies that examine this situation in depth is insufficient.

Keywords

Citation

Dinçer, M.A.M., Arslan, Y., Okutan, S. and Dil, E. (2023), "An inquiry on organic food confusion in the consumer perception: a qualitative perspective", British Food Journal, Vol. 125 No. 4, pp. 1420-1436. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-03-2022-0226

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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