This paper integrates and synthesizes the findings of published research on organic food consumption. We identify several themes that reflect the various rationales used by consumers when deciding to purchase organic food. The literature clearly indicates that the word “organic” has many meanings, that consumers of organic foods are not homogeneous in demographics or in beliefs, and that further research could help better describe the various constituencies that are often lumped together as “organic food consumers”. The organic and broader food industries must better understand the variety of motivations, perceptions, and attitudes consumers hold regarding organic foods and their consumption if their own long-term interests, as well as those of other stakeholders of food marketing, are to be best served. We conclude with implications and suggestions for further research.
Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.