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Factors influencing organic food purchase decision: fuzzy DEMATEL approach

Sook Fern Yeo (Faculty of Business, Multimedia University, Melaka, Malaysia) (Department of Business Administration, Daffodil International University, Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Cheng Ling Tan (Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia) (Department of Information Technology and Management, Daffodil International University, Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Ming-Lang Tseng (Institute of Innovation and Circular Economy, Asia University, Taichung, Taiwan) (Department of Medical Research, China Medical University Hospital, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan)
Steven Tam (Department of Management, Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas, USA)
Weng Kuan San (Faculty of Business, Multimedia University, Melaka, Malaysia)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 15 February 2022

Issue publication date: 3 November 2022




In recent years, consumers today recognise organic foods as high-quality products which can benefit them in various aspects. The tendency to switch consumption behaviours from conventional to ecological food products or organic food has largely been due to the claims that organic crops are grown in eco-friendly and sustainable environments. Thus, the study highlighted unique results on young consumers' purchasing intentions from a new perspective. The paper aims to investigate the factors influencing consumers' purchase decision towards organic food, particularly amongst Generation Y consumers.


The underlying fuzzy set theory is employed to handle the fuzziness of consumers' perceptions since the attributes are usually expressed in linguistic preferences. Overall, the study focussed on five important aspects – health consciousness, environmental concern, social influencing and ethical concern – that also include twenty criteria that had been identified and introduced after a thorough review of related literature.


The results reveal that the most important criteria in the selected firm are environment protection, chemical instrument, buying attitude and animal testing. In comparison, the cause group includes criteria such as environment protection, natural food and support for training programmes, whilst the effect group includes production practices, monitoring protections and ethically produced food.

Research limitations/implications

The sample collection from the study focussed on Generation Y consumers who consume organic food in Malaysia. This could lead to the limitation towards external generalisability. The study will provide numerous advantages to the communities. The policy maker should develop a proper marketing strategy to promote organic food as food that is healthier, better in nutrition and safer for society.


Utilising fuzzy decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) in analysing the fuzziness of consumers' perceptions towards consumers' purchase decision can be expected to expand the breadth of knowledge to both academic and practical.



The author would like to thank the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education for providing the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (No: FRGS/1/2021/SS01/USM/02/5) to fund this research. The author also would like to acknowledge appreciation to the Universiti Sains Malaysia (No: 203/PPAMC/6712032) in giving their support to the authors to conduct this research.


Yeo, S.F., Tan, C.L., Tseng, M.-L., Tam, S. and San, W.K. (2022), "Factors influencing organic food purchase decision: fuzzy DEMATEL approach", British Food Journal, Vol. 124 No. 12, pp. 4567-4591.



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