Edited By Rasim Yilmaz, Günther Löschnigg, Hasan Arslan and Mehmet Ali Icbay
Study on the Socio-Economic Profile of Organic Food Consumers in Turkey
The main reasons of consumers to prefer organic foods are stated as health, nutritional value, freshness, savour, food safety, environment and animal protection, and supporting the local economy. In the research studies conducted, the behaviour of purchasing organic food is associated with the motive of purchasing ecological/ethical food products, the motive of purchasing good/healthy food, and the motive of purchasing heuristic/experimental food; at the same time, it is indicated that this behaviour can also be explained with the characteristics related to the nutritional value, savour, and the product (Fotopoulos & Krystallis, 2002). The greatest reason for the consumers’ tendency to purchase organic food is the perceived benefits for health and nutrition related to the organic food products. A study conducted by an American organic food retailer named Whole Foods Market reveals that the most important reasons for consumers to purchase organic food are as follows (Winter & Davis, 2006):
• to protect themselves from the detrimental effects of agricultural chemicals (70%)
• freshness (68%)
• health and nutrition (67%)
• to avoid consuming food products with genetically modified organism (55%)
According to the results of a study conducted in the United States of America (USA), 66% of the consumers stated that they purchased the organic products because they considered these foods to be healthy and more nutritious (Argan, 2008). Food scandals such as bird flu and mad cow disease experienced in the conventional food sector play a role in...