Trust, convenience and environmental concern in consumer purchase intention for organic food

Gyan Prakash (Dr. B.R. Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar, India)
Pankaj Kumar Singh (ICFAI Business School, IFHE Campus, Hyderabad, India)
Anees Ahmad (International Management Institute, Kolkata, India)
Gaurav Kumar (Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, India)

Spanish Journal of Marketing - ESIC

ISSN: 2444-9695

Article publication date: 11 July 2023

Issue publication date: 2 November 2023

4940

Abstract

Purpose

The customers are demanding the products which are not only healthy but also clean and environment friendly i.e. call for sustainable consumption products. Therefore, this study aims to identify the important drivers of organic food purchase intention.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional research design involving the collection of primary data from 234 respondents was adopted in this study. Responses were gathered from the consumers of organic food representative of the Indian population. Structural equation modelling was applied to analyze data and validate the research model.

Findings

The findings of the study would help practitioners understand the factors leading to the purchase intention of organic food products in a growing consumer market. This knowledge would help them devise marketing and communication strategies to increase the consumption of organic food products.

Originality/value

The present study advances existing literature on organic food consumption by extending the theory of planned behaviour with factors, namely, environmental concern, convenience and trust, and establishing their role in developing the purchase intention for organic food products.

Objetivo

Los consumidores demandan productos no sólo saludables, sino también limpios y respetuosos con el medio ambiente, es decir, productos de consumo sostenible. Por lo tanto, este estudio pretende identificar los principales factores que influyen en la intención de compra de alimentos ecológicos.

Metodología

En este estudio se adoptó un diseño de investigación transversal que incluía la recogida de datos primarios de 234 encuestados. Las respuestas procedían de consumidores de alimentos ecológicos representativos de la población india. Se aplicó un modelo de ecuaciones estructurales para analizar los datos y validar el modelo de investigación.

Resultados

Las conclusiones del estudio ayudarán a los profesionales a comprender los factores que conducen a la intención de compra de productos alimentarios ecológicos en un mercado de consumidores en crecimiento. Este conocimiento les ayudaría a diseñar estrategias de marketing y comunicación para aumentar el consumo de alimentos ecológicos.

Originalidad

El presente estudio avanza la literatura existente sobre el consumo de alimentos orgánicos mediante la ampliación de la TPB con factores, a saber, la preocupación por el medio ambiente, la conveniencia y la confianza, y el establecimiento de su papel en el desarrollo de la intención de compra de productos alimenticios orgánicos.

目的

顾客要求的产品不仅是健康的, 而且是清洁和环保的, 即呼吁可持续消费产品。因此, 本研究旨在确定有机食品购买意向的重要驱动因素。

研究方法

本研究采用横断面研究设计, 从234名受访者中收集原始数据。受访者的回答来自于代表印度人口的有机食品消费者。采用结构方程模型来分析数据并验证研究模型。

研究结果

本研究的结果将有助于从业者了解在不断增长的消费市场中导致有机食品购买意向的因素。这些知识将帮助他们制定营销和沟通策略, 以增加有机食品的消费。

原创性

本研究通过扩展TPB的因素, 即环境关注、便利性和信任, 并确定它们在发展有机食品购买意向中的作用, 从而推进了现有的关于有机食品消费的文献。

Keywords

Citation

Prakash, G., Singh, P.K., Ahmad, A. and Kumar, G. (2023), "Trust, convenience and environmental concern in consumer purchase intention for organic food", Spanish Journal of Marketing - ESIC, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 367-388. https://doi.org/10.1108/SJME-09-2022-0201

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Gyan Prakash, Pankaj Kumar Singh, Anees Ahmad and Gaurav Kumar.

License

Published in Spanish Journal of Marketing - ESIC. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode


1. Introduction

The acceptance of organic food products got an exponential increase currently in reaction to consumers’ problems related to nutrition, health and the environment (Yadav and Pathak, 2017; Prakash et al., 2018; Aitken et al., 2020). The rise in demand for organic produce has encouraged the producers to shift towards organic farming from conventional methods (Ey.com, 2018). The consumption of organic food products is supposed to healthy, nutritive and eco-friendly than traditional food (Rana and Paul, 2017). Besides, the health and environmental influences of insecticides and additional altered chemical materials used for agricultural harvesting have motivated consumers and the marketer’s attention in organic foods. According to the earlier studies, consumers can spend more if they get organic food with certified safety and superior quality (Lin et al., 2020). The mass markets, conventional supermarkets and merchandisers have provided extra shelf space for organic produce for instance fruits and vegetables, in the wake of increasing organic product popularity (Yadav and Pathak, 2017). Growing per capita income, food poisoning cases and rising health and nutritional problems are some reasons for organic foods’ growing demand. The market for organic food and drinks was valued at US$188.35bn in 2021, and it is anticipated to increase at a CAGR of 13.0% from 2022 to 2030 (Market Analysis Report, 2022). The speedy increase in the demand for organic products paves the way for investigating the organic food purchase behaviour and the factors that govern such behaviour (Teng and Wang, 2015). Past studies have been investigating the motivation for procuring organic foods (Aertsens et al., 2009; Kareklas et al., 2014; Birch et al., 2018; Tandon et al., 2020). Consumption of food is a dynamic phenomenon which is influenced by a variety of factors (Tandon et al., 2020). To develop a deeper understanding of the variables promoting the use of organic food items, existing literature has revealed research gaps indicating the need to design advance theoretical frameworks and explore additional constructs (Yadav and Pathak, 2016a, 2016b; Prakash et al., 2018; Shamsi et al., 2020). Therefore, researchers such as Kareklas et al. (2014), Hansen et al. (2018), Wheeler et al. (2019) and Sultan et al. (2020) have used theories based on the study of human psychology to explain the complications involved in encouraging people to consume or purchase organic food. In the current study, we use the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) (Ajzen, 1991) to explore the psychological factors explaining buying intentions of organic food. According to TPB , the intention to carry out a specific behaviour determines its outcome. As an immediate precursor to the behaviour itself, intention encompasses both motivation and cognitive planning. Three interconnected variables, namely, attitude towards the behaviour, subjective norm and perceived behavioural control (PBC) determine intention. Past studies have shown successful application of TPB in investigating organic food consumption (Scalco et al., 2017) and other related fields such as pro-environmental behaviours, healthy eating and health behaviours (Klöckner, 2013; Riebl et al., 2015; McEachan et al., 2016).

We also incorporate the factors, namely, environmental concern (EC), convenience and trust to the TPB framework. The environment is now a bigger issue for consumers globally. They are interested in information on products, processes and brands that may have an influence on the environment. Consumers are willing to purchase organic foods because they are concerned about the environmental impact. Convenience to buy organic food is a crucial factor determining consumers' buying behaviour (Chan and Lau, 2000; Janssen, 2018) because in developing countries, finding an organic store is not easy, or their locations are very specific. One of the factors that have great impact and importance is Trust and can be maintained by the continuous usage (Zhang et al., 2016). However, the organic products were categorized in credence goods and difficult to evaluate the quality even after the consumption (Truong et al., 2021). Hence, trust can play a very important part in choice of consumer regarding the organic products (Sultan, 2020). Trusting organic food means putting faith in its production, certification and quality (Sultan et al., 2020). Because of the associated environmental claims, trust in organic food is more crucial than it is in the case of conventional food. Moreover, the changes in food industry especially changes in food production technologies have increased awareness among the consumers (Ladwein and Romero, 2021). Thus, consumers want to understand the origin and composition of each product those they are consuming (Ladwein and Romero, 2021).

Thus, this study contributes to the existing body of knowledge by developing a theoretical framework which depicts the relationship among the factors influencing consumer’s buying intention for organic food. The result of the study provides significant insights for the marketers and service providers to comprehend the effect of EC on young customers that will help them to make effective marketing strategies. The current research builds upon previous studies in various ways. Firstly, past researches were concentrated on the reasons behind organic purchases and consumer profiles, but have limited focused on behavioural intentions (BI). Secondly, there has been a lack of consistency in the relative importance of motivators and barriers to organic food purchases across studies (Tandon et al., 2021). For instance, some studies suggest that health and safety are the most crucial motivators, while others find that sensory appeal, health, natural content, ethical concerns and many more are important (Truong et al., 2021). If we look closer, environmental concerns appear to be a significant factor in developed countries but have lesser significance in developing nations (Kumar et al., 2021). Moreover, the aim of this study is to address the issue with the help of quantitative study to understand the different motives and barriers based on consumer perception. However, most of the research on the motivators for purchasing organic food has been conducted in developed countries where organic farming systems have become more established, as compared to developing countries that are still in the early stages of organic farming (Tandon et al., 2020). Additionally, developing countries are home to a significant portion of the world's population, including a growing middle class, making it crucial to comprehend the factors driving their food choices (United Nations, 2019). The results of this study can provide a deeper understanding of the varying motivators of consumers in emerging markets.

For this research, firstly, organic food definition, convenience, trusts and EC related to buying intention are derived from existing literature. We have formed a research model based on past empirical evidence. Secondly, there is an explanation of the research methodology. Thirdly, analysis and findings are mentioned.

2. Review of literature and hypotheses development

There has been increasing concern about the deteriorating environment, natural resource depletion, deforestation, pollution and global warming (Lee et al., 2010; Mohd Suki and Mohd Suki, 2015). Consumers are changing their purchase habits and moving towards green consumerism to display their responsibility towards the environment (Mostafa, 2007; Han and Yoon, 2015). Consumers are known as environment-friendly or environmentally conscious consumers (Ha-Brookshire and Norum, 2011). Eco-friendly products do not have very limited impact on natural environment when manufactured, used or disposed of (Pickett-Baker and Ozaki, 2008). Such products are recognized by the labels and packaging, mentioning the keywords such as biodegradable, recyclable, natural, environment-friendly and organic. Green consumerism refers to the “adoption of environmentally friendly practices in the creation, promotion, and use of goods and services” (Akenji, 2014). For instance, the use of organic products, clean and renewable energy, is well-suited to environmental protection and is called green consumerism. These recent developments are forcing business organizations to change their business processes like sourcing raw material, day-to-day operations, production processes and environmentally friendly decision-making (D’souza and Taghian, 2005). Earlier, green consumerism movement was prevalent in developed economies. However, this movement is now expanding to emerging economies like India as the consumers are showing environmental consciousness (Yadav and Pathak, 2016a, 2016b). Understanding consumers' changing perspectives like the intention to buy organic products is vital to formulating marketing strategies (Chan and Lau, 2000).

Moreover, a greater understanding of the drivers of purchase behaviour will facilitate disabling the hurdles in green consumption (Welsch and Kühling, 2009). Rana and Paul (2017) assert that the knowledge regarding factors influencing consumer attitude would be useful for the marketing of organic products. So far, majority investigations on consumer’s green purchase intention are concentrated on developed economies. However, consumers' attitudes and viewpoints towards green products are different in emerging economies that demand the more significant study of purchase intentions in these economies, especially India (Paul et al., 2016). However, some of the authors like Yazdanpanah and Forouzani (2015) argued that the young population is expected to be more knowledgeable about organic food. Youth is possibly more aware of the harmful effect of conventional agricultural food too. The young population in India will be around 35% by 2020 (MOSPI, 2017). Thus, the need of the hour is to comprehend the purchase intentions of the young consumers for organic produce in an evolving economy, India. The TPB is useful frameworks that link one's beliefs and behaviour. As a rational choice theory, TPB has been extensively used in researches on food purchases (Zanoli and Naspetti, 2002). The following sections dwell deep into the TPB and its extension using extra constructs to measure its effect on consumer’s organic product purchase intention.

2.1 Organic food

In recent years, trending news like plasticizers in food, effects of pesticides related to environment and health, crops with genetic modification (Christoph et al., 2008), societal acknowledgement of environmental safety efforts (Hughner et al., 2007), awareness regarding mental and physical health concerns (Coley et al., 2011) have stimulated the significant interest of marketers and consumers towards organic products. Organic products are cultivated using material and methods that diminish the usage of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. Consequently, these are perceived as environment-friendly, safe, nutritious and healthier. Therefore, consumers are prepared to spend more on these safe products (Krystallis et al., 2006). Moreover, the shift in consumer preferences is causing a rise in the organic product market (Ngobo, 2011) and the establishment of supply chains with minimal biological harm while endorsing agriculture and the economy (Liang, 2011). The market of organic food has developed into the quickest growing segment among the food industry (Hughner et al., 2007). In India, the organic produce market in 2018 amounted to US$704m and is anticipated to touch US$2,091m in 2024 (IMARC, 2019). Tang and Wang (2014) call for a better exploration of critical causes that affect consumers' purchasing behaviour towards organic produce, which will further help policymakers, marketing specialists, producers and suppliers in formulating successful marketing strategies.

2.2 Theory of planned behaviour (TPB)

TPB is a cognitive model offered by Ajzen (1991). TPB answers the question, “what makes human beings react in the way they do?” In a nutshell, this theory explains human behaviour based on their BI. BI is subsequently calculated by personal attitudes, subjective norms (SN) as well as PBC. Consumers’ attitudes signify sets of appraisal and beliefs (favourable or unfavourable) regarding individual behaviour. SN describe the degree of a person by which his intentions are shaped by the extent of approval (and disapproval) by family, co-workers, friends or any person he trusts. PBC affects the intentions and resulting behaviour of an individual. It reflects the belief and thinking of a person about his/her ability to perform and engage in such actions.

Although the TPB is predicated on the idea that three components – attitude, subjective norm and PBC – determine behavioural intention, prior research has shown that there are a few domain-specific factors that are not taken into account in this model (2014). Recently, it has become more and more clear that the TPB has to be expanded to incorporate new constructs to increase its predictive potential (Yadav and Pathak, 2016a, 2016b). It was also suggested that by including additional constructions or changing the direction of the variables in the TPB framework, it may be made deeper and broader (Ajzen, 1991). The TPB has been widely used in different contexts in the literature to explain purchase intention in different contexts (Belanche et al., 2014, 2019; Flavián et al., 2020). However, the several studies demonstrate the usefulness of TPB on their conceptual frameworks regarding organic food consumption (Hansen et al., 2004; Aertsens et al., 2009). TPB is deemed to be an appropriate theory for exploring consumer choice motives (Chen, 2007). Based on the discussion, we choose the theoretical framework of TPB for our study. Below mentioned hypotheses were developed with the support of TPB model:

2.2.1 Attitude and purchase intention.

Attitude takes central role in the consumer study as it influences thoughts, feelings and most importantly consumer decision-making process (Bagozzi and Warshaw, 1990). Attitude can be defined as an individual's positive/negative evaluation of performance of the particular behaviour (Ajzen and Fishbein, 1980). Attitude is the result of behavioural beliefs and outcome evaluations (OE). behavioural belief refers to the individual belief about the consequences of engaging in a particular behaviour, whereas outcome evaluation refers to the corresponding favourable or unfavourable judgment about the possible consequences of the behaviour (Ajzen, 1991). A considerable number of studies found positive link between attitude and purchase intention across different products and services (Pavlou and Fygenson, 2006; Bang et al., 2000; Kautish et al., 2022). The study found that attitude towards purchasing green products influences buying intentions of them (Jaiswal et al., 2021). Bian and Forsythe (2012) found that consumers purchase intention of luxury brands are positively affected by their attitude towards the brands. Thus, the following hypothesis has been formulated:

H1.

Consumers’ attitude towards organic products significantly affects the intentions towards organic food products.

2.2.2 Subjective norms and purchase intention.

A subjective norm is defined as perceived social pressure to engage in a behaviour based on normative beliefs or individual perceptions of others that are being considered (Ajzen, 2005). Nor and Pearson (2008) said friends, family members and colleague, as SN have a positive influence individual to buy online products. Subjective norm is believed to be a social factor in nature (Ajzen and Driver, 1992). Subjective norm is an outcome of normative belief (NB) and motivation to comply (MC). NB comply refers as an individual perception about how others (those who are significant to the individual) would like one to behave in a certain situation, whereas MC refers as the individual desire to comply with opinion of significant others (Ajzen, 1991). Previous studies also find that SN have a significant effect on purchase intention of green packaged products (Yadav et al., 2019). Thus, the following hypothesis has been formulated:

H2.

SN significantly affect their intentions to purchase organic food products.

2.2.3 Perceived behaviour control and purchase intention.

PBC is defined as the individual’s perception of the ease or difficulty of enacting the behaviour (Fishbein and Ajzen, 2010). The theory assumes that those individuals holding more positive attitudes, positive SN and high PBC are more likely to intend to engage in the stated behaviour, a direct precursor to the actual behaviour (Ajzen, 1991; Fishbein and Ajzen, 2010). PBC is an outcome of control beliefs and perceived power. Control belief can be defined as belief of the individual towards the presence of certain factors that may facilitate or impede the performance of a particular behaviour (e.g. time, money and opportunity), whereas perceive power refers to personal evaluation of the impact of these factors in facilitating or impeding the particular behaviour (Ajzen, 1991). It can be interpreted that consumers' perception of environmental value urges green purchase intention (Kautish et al., 2019) and affects the purchase intention of organic products, which are environment-friendly products (Sadiq et al., 2020). Research suggests that if consumers possess high PBC towards purchasing organic food products, positive BI will also be high (Padel and Foster, 2005; Al-Swidi et al., 2014; Yadav and Pathak, 2016a, 2016b). Thus, the following hypothesis has been formulated:

H3.

PBC significantly influences consumers’ intentions in purchasing of organic food products.

2.3 Additional antecedents to theory of planned behaviour

Several previous studies have used the TPB to elucidate the decision-making process of the consumer regarding organic foods (Thøgersen, 2007). This theory is extensively deployed to investigate the psychosocial factors of consumer BI (Kim et al., 2013). However, Lindenberg and Steg (2007) found that TPB explains pro-environment behaviour, and the choices are bounded by effort, time and money. However, TPB has been criticized for not sufficiently considering other factors like emotions, knowledge, environmental self-identity, etc. (Polonsky et al., 2012). Incorporating further factors to the TPB will improve the explanatory power of TPB to analyze consumers' purchase intention towards organic products. Considering the findings and recommendations of the discussed literature, our study integrates the other constructs: EC, product availability and trust in the enhanced research model.

2.3.1 Environmental concern (EC).

EC is the degree of a person’s sentiment towards the problems faced by the environment, concerned with reducing these problems and support efforts in preserving the environment (Moser, 2016). Individuals involve themselves in pro-environmental behaviour to fulfil their desire to save the environment (McCarty and Shrum, 2001). Research has explored that consumers' environmental concerns can affect the readiness to pay for environment-friendly products positively (Kotchen and Reiling, 2000; Bang et al., 2000; Van Doorn and Verhoef, 2011). Kim and Choi (2005) reported important association among green purchasing behaviour and EC. Yadav and Pathak (2016a, 2016b) find that young consumers in India have deep interest and awareness regarding environmental matters exhibited in their purchase behaviour. However, some studies reported the weak or insignificant association amid EC and purchasing behaviour (Joshi and Rahman, 2017). As the results of studies have been inconsistent, this discussion demands further research on the impact of EC on purchasing behaviour (Kautish and Dash, 2017). Based on the literature, we assume that higher degree of EC will increase the intention of buying organic products among individuals. Thus, the following hypothesis has been formulated:

H4.

EC significantly influences young consumers’ intention in organic food purchase.

2.3.2 Convenience.

Convenience is termed as the ease one faces while doing the transaction. Grunert (2006) found that the buyer’s interest has been rising inconvenience. However, some of the researchers argued that consumers are having much more concern for availability and range of products (Jones, 2000). Organic food is challenging to find, as reported by one-third of the consumers surveyed (Torjusen et al., 2004). Consumers must spend additional time if the organic product is not available at a convenient location (Thøgersen et al., 2015: Hwang, 2016). In the Indian context, Manchiraju et al. (2017) reported that organic cloth consumption is influenced by product availability. As per the above discussion, it is inferred that the lack of organic food may influence the purchase decision. Thus, the study tests the following hypothesis:

H5.

Convenience positively predicts young adults’ intention to buy organic food products.

2.3.3 Trust.

Sirdeshmukh et al. (2002) conceived that customer trust is his/her perception that the service provider is trustworthy and reliable in fulfilling their pledges. Trust is an essential aspect of a relationship (Morgan and Hunt, 1994). Gefen (2004) termed trust as a mechanism to decrease the perceived risk in the transaction in expectation of a positive outcome and expected behaviour. Trustworthiness is the attribute that can influence the buyer and seller relationship (Al-Nasser et al., 2014). Various researches exhibit an important relationship between trust and purchasing behaviour (Mukherjee and Nath, 2003). Trust is known to positively affect purchase intention by reducing consumers' perceived risk and was considered an essential variable in the context of food consumption (Teng and Wang, 2015). Prior works have identified the relationship between trust and purchase intention in various contexts (Daugbjerg et al., 2014; Konuk, 2018). Business relationships may contain incomplete information on the user side, disbelief and a high threat. Therefore, this relationship calls for a high amount of trust (Mayer et al., 1995). Scepticism and threat increase when customers cannot physically inspect the products (Parasuraman et al., 1985). PBC is also controlled by trust in the case of online transactions (Casaló et al., 2008, 2011). Nowadays, customers prefer organic food over conventional foods (Ozguven, 2012; OTA, 2019). However, customer trust is a significant issue regarding organic products, as the authenticity of them cannot be determined after consumption (Janssen and Hamm, 2012). Fernqvist and Ekelund (2014) argued that trust factors drive organic food buying behaviour. Consumers are doubting the trustworthiness of organic food and hence perceive their purchases as risky (Zanoli, 2004; Green et al., 2005). Based on extant literature, our study considers trust as an additional construct in TPB, which maximizes the consumer's PBC to make purchases of organic products. Therefore, understand the above discussion the following hypothesis has been formulated:

H6.

Trustworthy of organic foods positively influences organic food purchase.

As per the World Economic Forum Report (2019), after the USA and China, India is expected to develop the third-largest consumer market by 2030. However, despite this great potential, there is a dearth of literature on India's young consumers' intention to buy organic products. This research intends to fill this gap via studying the critical determinants of young Indian customers' purchase intention towards organic products. This study revolves around four key objectives. First, this study incorporates extra constructs, viz., EC, convenience and trust in the TPB to understand young consumers' purchase intention better. Second, primary survey data is collected to inspect the psychometric properties of the proposed model. Third, this research reports the significant drivers of young Indian consumer organic product purchase intention. Fourth, marketing strategies are devised based on the factors identified. Also, based on all the developed hypotheses, the succeeding theoretical framework is proposed (Figure 1).

3. Research methodology

3.1 Questionnaire development and data collection

For data collection, a structured questionnaire was formed with the assistance of previous researches. In the questionnaire, the primary fraction included the demographic information of respondents. In another part, the construct was measured through multiple items (questions) with each item measured utilizing a five-point Likert type scale from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). These items were adopted from previous researches, three items selected from Sultan et al. (2019) to measure attitude, three items were espoused from Choi and Johnson (2019) to measure SN and three indicators were adopted from Prakash and Pathak (2017) to analyze PBC. Three items were taken from Boobalan and Nachimuthu (2020) to understand EC. Moreover, three items were adopted from Hjelmar (2011) to understand the importance of the convenience factor. Three items were adopted from Curvelo et al. (2019) to analyze the trust factor. The last three items were adopted from Nystrand and Olsen (2020) to investigate the purchase intention in the present study. Table 2 represents the factors and their items with the references.

From January to February 2021, data were collected from the Delhi NCR region with the convenience sampling method. Some researchers have questioned convenience sampling's generalizability, but many facts recommend that the young population is more reliable than any other category for the current study (Cheah and Phau, 2011; Kautish and Sharma, 2019). To check idiomatic or common terminologies in the questionnaire, pilot study was carried out among 25 MBA students (Wang et al., 2012). In all, 450 questionnaires were dispersed among young consumers. Most of the respondents were tapped at the college canteen, cafeteria, hostel, library, shopping malls and classrooms. However, only 351 respondents returned filled questionnaires, representing a high return rate, i.e. 78%, only 334 questionnaires were found error-free and used as the final sample size. As per Kline (2011), a minimum of 10 cases per parameter/item is necessary for the correct statistical estimate. Therefore, current study has 21 items, and a minimum of 210 responses were required. It means the sample size of 334 could be the acceptable number for current research. Out of 334 final respondents, 219 respondents were males (66%), and 115 (34%) were female. All 334 respondents belonged to 20–26 age groups. Mainly respondents were graduate, i.e. 204 (61%) followed by postgraduate 130 (39%). It was also found that out of total responses, 228 (68%) were students, 89 (27%) were service professionals and 17 (5%) were entrepreneurs.

3.2 Statistical analysis

As per the directions of Anderson and Gerbing (1988), a two-stage structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to find out the relationships among the various factors. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) has been used to check the validity and reliability of the measurement model, and then the hypotheses were analyzed through structural model and overall model fit. However, the hypotheses were analyzed by standardized regression coefficients (β) as well as p-values with SPSS and AMOS version 21.

4. Results

4.1 Measurement model: validity and reliability

CFA represents an excellent model fit as per the recommended values (Bagozzi and Yi, 1988; Hair et al., 2010; Byrne, 2013). Table 1 highlights goodness of fit indices of CFA model.

It was found that all indices found appropriate and above than the suggested criteria (Bagozzi and Yi, 1998). However, from 0.72 to 0.90, Cronbach's alpha coefficient values were also calculated and represented good internal consistency reliability (Nunnally, 1978). Moreover, convergent validity and discriminant validity of current model were calculated. With the help of factor loading, composite reliability (CR) and the average variance extracted (AVE) were used to calculate the convergent validity. More precisely, CR was calculated as found within the range of 0.83–0.92 and met the suggested standard of 0.6 and more than 0.6 recommended value (Bagozzi and Yi, 1988). However, the values of factor loading were found from 0.76 to 0.92 and clear the minimum recommended value of above 0.05 (Kline, 2011). Moreover, the AVE also found higher than the suggested values of 0.50 or above (Fornell and Larcker, 1981), and values ranged from 0.640 to 0.798 ensure convergent validity. The values of reliability and validity are highlighted in Table 2. To ensure the discriminant validity, the square root of AVE of each construct was calculated and found to be higher than the correlation between the constructs (Chin et al., 1997). With the help of the above values, it is observed that the theoretical model symbolizes a sufficient reliability as well as validity (convergent and discriminant). Value of discriminant validity is highlighted in Table 3.

4.2 The structural model of the present study and hypothesis testing

After the measurement model, hypotheses were estimated. The different goodness of fit indices demonstrate that anticipated model statistically fit data (χ2 = 182.987, χ2/df = 1.872, GFI = 0.920, NFI = 0.929, CFI = 0.951, IFI = 0.949, TLI = 0.941 and RMSEA = 0.059). All the fit indices correspond to good fit as recommended by Browne and Cudeck (1993). Standardized regression coefficients (β) and (p) value were used to test the present paper's hypotheses. The association between the independent and dependent variables was calculated with β value. The structural model shown in Figure 2. With the help of the analysis, it was found that trust is significantly affecting the intention of the consumers towards organic food among the other considered factors. The value of H6 (β = 0.38, p < 0.01) found above the recommended criteria and supported hypothesis H6. Secondly, EC was also significantly affecting the organic food purchase intention of young consumers and supported the hypothesis H4 (β = 0.32, p < 0.01). However, the SN do not significantly affect the purchase intention of the young consumers H2 (β = 0.10, p > 0.05) towards organic food, which means friends and family members do not support the green behaviour of young consumers and the hypothesis H2 is not supported. Hypothesis H1 was formulated to know the impact of attitude on purchase intention. It was found that consumers’ attitude is significantly affecting the purchase intention of young consumers and supported the hypothesis H1 (β = 0.28, p < 0.01). The impact of PBC was analysed in hypothesis H3 and found a positive impact on purchase intention and accepted the hypothesis H3 (β = 0.25, p < 0.01). In the last convenience, factor is also having a positive impact on young consumers' purchase intention and supported the hypothesis H5 (β = 0.22, p < 0.01).

5. Implications

5.1 Theoretical implications

After receiving the results, it can be understood that considered factors are important for the organic food purchase. They are mostly in line with the hypotheses, with some important academic contributions. The TPB has proven to be an extremely effective framework for forecasting a wide range of behaviour in a variety of domains, including pro-environmental conduct. This study used the TPB to determine purchase intention of green items. The findings demonstrated the utility of a well-established cognitive psychology model (TPB) in predicting the youth's desire to purchase green items in the setting of a developing country India. Furthermore, the results support the applicability of extending the TPB model and improve the robustness and predictive power of the proposed framework in measuring consumer purchase intention of Indian consumers. First, empirical evidence is presented to understand the consumption pattern in a developing nation, especially organic food. It provides insights into the factors determining organic food purchase intention in a culture different from developed countries. Second, present study confirms theoretically the role of trust in the generation of purchase intention for organic food products. Third, this study extends the TPB with variables, namely, EC, trust and convenience, to better explain organic food purchase behaviour. This extended model contrasts with previous researches, which has used the TPB alone in consumer behaviour models.

Moreover, as per the theory of trust transfer (Zhao et al., 2019), if more consumers consider a product to be reliable, there is a strong ability to purchase it. In the same manner, the present study also offers the same contribution regarding the organic food. This finding is consistent with Konuk’s (2018) research, which shows the positive impact of trust and purchase intention on national brands. The present results also contradict to those of Ladwein and Romero (2021), as in their study it was found that trust in producers does not have a significant effect on purchasing intention.

5.2 Managerial implications

The findings of the present study discuss the consumer’s perception of organically produced food products. In the present study, literature was discussed in the context of developing and developed countries, pointing towards a difference in perceptions and motivations for the consumption of organic food products. However, for consumers market, these products are very new and are trying to develop on a large scale. Still, consumers have several confusion and problems regarding the adoption of organic food consumption. Therefore, this research work was conducted to know the young consumers' perception and try to recognize the different factors that are affecting the consumers’ purchase intention. The findings of the study are valuable to policymakers, marketers, academicians and researchers who want to educate their consumers or want to enter the organic product market. With the help of the present study, it is easy to reveal that consumers are well aware of the organic food products and are welcoming eco-friendly products in their diet. To enhance the popularity and awareness among the consumers, the marketing managers and policymakers should formulate the strategies that educate the consumers about the benefits of organic food. They must consider the basic psychological needs and beliefs that can create or influence consumer motivations while formulating the strategies. However, in the current study, we found that consumer is well aware about the environment and having a strong urge to preserve their ecological surroundings.

The current research suggests that markets should focus on creating a positive attitude towards organic food products by educating consumers about the benefits of organic food products. The advertising campaigns that highlight the health benefits, environmental sustainability and social responsibility of organic food products should have been adopted by the marketers. In addition, companies can offer free samples or discounts to encourage consumers to try organic products. However, the PBC is the extent to which consumers believe they have control over their behaviour. It could be enhanced by making organic food products more accessible and convenient for consumers as well as improving the availability of organic products in supermarkets, grocery stores, online ordering and delivery services. Marketer must educate the consumers about the benefits and understand how to incorporate organic products into their daily lives. Apart from them, the most important factor is trust, and building trust with consumers is essential for mangers. Nowadays, consumers are increasingly concerned about the quality and safety of the food they eat. Therefore, marketer may only build trust with consumers by being transparent about their production methods, ingredient sourcing, quality standards, product labelling, third-party certifications and customer reviews. To enhance customers’ trust in organic food products, some strategies like a free trial pack may be a valuable submission for the marketers. These trials may enhance trust in organic products by providing experience to the consumers. The current study also validates the importance of EC as one of the important antecedents of social consciousness. Additionally, environmental concerns could play a very important part in adopting sustainable production methods and reducing their carbon footprint for the manufacturing unit. To tackle this problem, marketers should inform the consumers about sustainable sourcing of ingredients, eco-friendly packaging and reducing waste in the supply chain used in the farming of organic food products. Marketers can also improve their brand image by developing relationships with environmental organizations to promote their commitment to sustainability. Marketers and policymakers can go for the special advertisement to enhance the pro-environmental behaviour of consumers. Indian consumers also have pro ecological attitudes towards organic foods. Thus, with the help of mass media, online and offline marketing campaigns in attractive mode could be a good movement for awareness and reminder for encouraging organic food choices among consumers.

Moreover, we found very interesting finding i.e. that SN are not affecting the purchase intention of young consumers. It means the important persons for young consumers such as friends, spouse and family are not influencing their purchase intention towards organic food products. Therefore, green item manufacturers should put additional stress on individual norms as well as on individual behaviour. Lastly, Indian consumers want organic food products to be conveniently available and want to invest fewer efforts to get them; hence, marketers should focus on marketing channels to increase the organic food product availability.

6. Conclusion and discussion

This study aimed to understand the consumption patterns of young consumers regarding organic food items. It also tries to recognize the important antecedents affecting the purchase intention regarding the organic food. Therefore, six causal hypotheses were formulated. SEM was formulated to examine the TPB model with its extension and found statistically significant. The present study found that trust in the organic food product is positively affecting the young consumers’ intention towards organic food. It means consumers have trust in organic food that is advantageous for them. In the present world, everybody wants to purchase nutritious and healthy food products, and organic food is filled with both elements. Therefore, young consumers are attracted to organic food items. The present study's having similar results as earlier studies (Giampietri et al., 2018; Nuttavuthisit and Thøgersen, 2017; Sultan and Wong, 2019). The EC is positively affecting young consumers. Greendex (2012) also found that consumers are more eco-friendly than those in many developed countries' consumers. Therefore, it can be said that the results of the present study are supported by earlier studies as well (Yadav and Pathak, 2016a, 2016b; Joshi and Rahman, 2017). The finding also shows that consumers’ attitude and PBC have significant and robust path coefficients related to behavioural intention compared to SN. The present study is consistent with earlier research’s contribution, as they found weak association with intention and SN in the TPB model. Moreover, many recent studies show that subjective norm has an insignificant relationship with the purchase intention (Zhang et al., 2018; Chekima et al., 2019; Sultan et al., 2019). The last convenience factor is affecting the young consumers' purchase intention; if the consumers are more convenient in purchasing the organic food product, then they are ultimately ready to change their purchasing preferences. However, the present study has also has proven that the TPB model is an advantageous framework for understanding and predicting behaviour, especially in organic food purchases. The present study also found that extension of the TPB model with these factors (environmental consciousness, Trust and convenience) can increase the predictive power and robustness of the TPB model. Moreover, this study might also apply to consumers in other developing countries that share similar cultures, such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Bhutan. In this way, our study contributes to the discourse on how to achieve globally sustainable consumption of food, including OF, for the expanding population of young people in developing countries.

7. Limitations and future research avenues

Apart from the number of implications, the current study also has some limitations. As the food market is growing in India, it is difficult to collect the data among the consumers. Therefore, sampling procedure limits the study's ability to generalize the findings. However, the researcher tried to get the information from the homogeneous composition of the sample concerning the study population. Moreover, the upcoming studies might use a different sampling procedure to predict the better response from the sample. The study limits to six factors; future research can increase the number of factors to understand the consumers' behaviour better. The future studies should be conducted in other cities with a diverse population to increase the representatives of the results. It would also be fruitful to carry out research in different countries.

Figures

Conceptual model

Figure 1

Conceptual model

Structural model

Figure 2.

Structural model

Important values of goodness of fit indices of CFA model

Model fit indices Recommended values CFA model
χ2 NA 132.24
χ2/df >1 & <5a 1.645
GFI ≥0.90a 0.910
CFI ≥0.90a 0.932
IFI ≥0.90b 0.931
TLI ≥0.90b 0.928
NFI ≥0.90a 0.919
RMSEA ≤0.08d 0.032

Scale refinement, values of validity and reliability

Constructs Factor loading
Attitude [adopted from Sultan et al. (2019) α = 0.72; CR = 0.842; AVE = 0.640]
I love to purchase organic food items rather than buy conventional products if I have an option 0.82
I always like to buy organic food items 0.80
I would like to buy groceries product that is cultivated through the organic process 0.78
Subjective Norm [adopted from Choi and Johnson (2019) α = 0.80; CR = 0.870; AVE = 0.700]
Every time important persons to me, advices purchasing organic food items 0.88
People those are important to me would believe I should buy organic food items 0.82
Important persons in my life want me to rebuy eco-friendly food products 0.79
Perceived behavioural control (adopted from Prakash and Pathak (2016); Khare (2015) α = 0.84; CR = 0.830; AVE = 0.619)
Purchasing of organic food depends entirely on me 0.81
I strongly believe in personal obligation to use organic food products 0.79
I think we have the responsibility to save the environment where possible 0.76
Environmental concern [adopted from Boobalan and Nachimuthu (2020) α = 0.88; CR = 0.886; AVE = 0.722]
I always out of the box efforts to organic food products to save our environment 0.92
I am purchasing organic food products due to environmental reasons 0.88
If I have a choice between the products, I will prefer to buy an environmentally safe product 0.74
Convenience [adopted from Hjelmar (2011) α = 0.75; CR = 0.869; AVE = 0.690]
Organic food is always adequately available 0.87
Organic food is always available shops near to my house 0.82
We easily get organic food products 0.80
Trust [adopted from Curvelo et al. (2019) α = 0.81; CR = 0.879; AVE = 0.707]
I always have trust on food items if they are organic 0.90
I easily rely on products if they are organically produced 0.82
I believe that organic food items are safe 0.80
Purchase intention [adopted from Nystrand and Olsen (2020) α = 0.90; CR = 0.922; AVE = 0. 0.798]
In the near future, I intend to buy food items if they are organic 0.92
I have very strong intention to purchase green products 0.89
I intend to buy organic food regularly 0.87

Details of discriminant validity

Constructs ATT SN PBC EC Con Trust PI
ATT 0.800
SN 0.347** 0.831
PBC 0.225** 0.211** 0.837
EC 0.215* 0.185** 0.155** 0.787
Con 0.201** 0.198** 0.189** 0.150** 0.850
Trust 0.180 0.140* 0.124* 0.111* 0.105* 0.841
PI 0.166** 0.143** 0.139** 0.120** 0.110** 0.101** 0.893
Notes:

** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed), * Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed)

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Acknowledgements

Erratum: It has come to the attention of the publisher that the article, Gyan Prakash, Pankaj Kumar Singh, Anees Ahmad and Gaurav Kumar “Trust, convenience and environmental concern in consumer purchase intention for organic food”, published in Spanish Journal of Marketing - ESIC was published with incorrect affiliation information for Gaurav Kumar. The correct affiliation is Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, India. The error was introduced in the editorial process and has now been corrected in the online version. The publisher sincerely apologises for this error and for any inconvenience caused.

Corresponding author

Pankaj Kumar Singh can be contacted at: pankajlive2@gmail.com

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