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What drives attitude, purchase intention and consumer buying behavior toward organic food? A self-determination theory and theory of planned behavior perspective

Yamna Khan (College of Business Management, Institute of Business Management, Karachi, Pakistan)
Irfan Hameed (Faculty of Business and Management, UCSI University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Umair Akram (Zhejiang Gongshang University Hangzhou College of Commerce, Hangzhou, China)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 23 December 2022

Issue publication date: 30 May 2023




The current study aims to investigate the impact of various types of motivational factors on consumers' behavior regarding the purchase and consumption of organic food. A favorable attitude among consumers may translate into positive purchase intention and actual buying behavior. For this, variables have been extracted from well-established theories, i.e. self-determination theory (SDT) and theory of planned behavior (TPB), to address the issue more proficiently.


A self Administered close-ended questionnaire was distributed to twelve hundred and sixty-five consumers using purposive sampling technique. Seven hundred and eighty-seven responses were retained after preliminary analysis. Partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) was applied using SmartPLS 3 to analyze validity and reliability. Furthermore, 5,000 boot-strapping method was used to test hypotheses.


The findings of the study suggested that two of the SDT variables [external regulations (ER) and integrated regulation (IR)] lead to a significant impact on “consumers” attitudes, while the effects of intrinsic motivation (IM) and introjected regulation (INR) appeared to be insignificant. All the variables extracted from TPB (attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control, purchase intention, and buying behavior) appeared to have a significant impact, while the trust was found to moderate the relationship between attitude (ATT) and purchase intention (PI). Moreover, the values of Q-square depicted that the combined model had more predictive relevance (BB = 0.153; PI = 0.211), as compared to the TPB model (BB = 0.147; PI = 0.186).


Marketers can make use of the study's findings to develop marketing strategies by considering particularly extrinsic motivational influences. Hence, advertising could be used to emphasize extrinsic benefits such as increasing individual self-esteem through social status (positive consequences) and appealing to consumers' desire for communal or societal approval. Such campaigns should also consider external regulatory factors, such as the fear of having hazardous effects on the individual's health due to the use of inorganic and processed food. Furthermore, policymakers can develop a sense of trust in the legitimacy of organic labeling by educating consumers about various organic certifications.



Khan, Y., Hameed, I. and Akram, U. (2023), "What drives attitude, purchase intention and consumer buying behavior toward organic food? A self-determination theory and theory of planned behavior perspective", British Food Journal, Vol. 125 No. 7, pp. 2572-2587.



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