Declared non-buyers of organic food: A study of young British and Polish consumer profiles
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Instytut Ekonomii i Finansów, Uniwersytet Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej w Lublinie
Wydział Agrobioinżynierii, Uniwersytet Przyrodniczy w Lublinie
Instytut Nauk o Zarządzaniu i Jakości, Uniwersytet Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej w Lublinie
Lincoln Institute for Agri Food Technology, University of Lincoln, United Kingdom
Submission date: 2022-10-26
Final revision date: 2023-01-17
Acceptance date: 2023-03-02
Publication date: 2023-03-28
Corresponding author
Julia Wojciechowska-Solis   

Zakład Agroturystyki i Rozwoju Obszarów Wiejskich Uniwersytet Przyrodniczy w Lublinie, Polska
Ekonomista 2023;(1):28–50
The aim of this study is to determine the profile of young consumers in Poland and the United Kingdom who, despite being environmentally aware, do not purchase organic food. The data are taken from a 2021 survey of 624 young consumers who claimed that they did not purchase organic food (i.e. who described themselves as non-buyers). A more pro-environmental attitude was observed among young British consumers. The main barriers to purchasing organic products in both countries were being too expensive, problems with availability, a lack of consumer interest, and in Poland, competition from home-grown foods. Food acquired directly from farmers, and domestic and local food were all seen as viable alternatives to organic food. British non-buyers are more likely to buy food products marketed as sustainable, but less likely to purchase home-grown food, than their Polish counterparts. Most studies to date have been conducted in a single country and have focused on consumers. The present study rectifies this deficiency. It additionally contributes to the literature on the perceived value of organic food by demonstrating that the environmental and social values held by young non-buyers have not translated into greater interest in organic food per se. This is despite the fact that non-buyers of organic food often have a positive opinion on these products and perceive them as healthy, safe, high quality, strictly controlled, trustworthy, and authentic. Another barrier to organic market development might be the coexistence of differing (sometimes conflicting) opinions on the organic food system among young people of the same or different cultural backgrounds. If so, then politicians and business people should be well advised to take this into account.
This research was funded by the National Science Centre, Poland, grant no. 2019/35/D/HS4/00801.