The purpose of this paper is to integrate food-related lifestyle (FRL) approaches and perspectives from the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to investigate the profiles of consumers who purchase organic food online and to analyze differences in the related behaviors of consumers with different FRLs.
A link to a web site explaining the content and presenting an online questionnaire was provided through the e-newsletters of five well-known Taiwanese organic food distributors. Respondents were given NT$50 e-gift coupons after they had completed the questionnaire. A total of 950 questionnaires were distributed, and 753 valid samples were obtained.
Attitudes toward purchasing organic food online had the greatest positive influence on purchase intentions, followed by cognitive control and, finally, subjective norms. Populations with different FRLs were divided into traditional food, uninvolved food, and enthusiastic food shoppers, and these all showed significant differences with respect to the TPB model, their online organic food purchasing profiles, and demographic variables.
Organic food businesses draw on various features of the internet to solve issues such as the difficulty of storing and transporting perishable food items. However, few studies have combined theories of online consumer behavior with food characteristics and psychographic approaches to analyze the overall consumer profiles of purchasers of organic food. The author believes that the conclusions of this study may be used by the food industry to analyze consumer demand, draw inferences about organic food-related habits in consumers’ everyday lives, and design more appropriate internet marketing strategies.
The author wishes to acknowledge the insightful comments from two anonymous reviewers of IR. The author also acknowledges the financial support of Agriculture and Food Agency, Taiwan (No. 100AS-4.2.5-FD-Z1) and the editing service of Paul Steed and Julia Zhang.
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