Uncovering consumers’ political intentions and values when buying and consuming organic food products

Niels Nolsøe Grünbaum, Marianne Stenger

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Little is known about the underlying motivations for buying and consuming ethical, green and organic products. Thus, how can we understand this specific type of consumption? This paper aims to enlighten this knowledge gap. More specifically, how can we systematize and understand the political consumers’ value system? Further, what are the key motives for buying and consuming organic food products? A case study was undertaken. The unit of analysis constituted 12 high users of organic food products. The empirical data was gathered and analysed by utilizing Reynolds and Gutman’s laddering technique. The results revealed that the purposive selected informants activate different cognitive structures (i.e. values) for identical attributes and consequences when buycotting organic food. Hence, some of the informants’ buycott organic food for personal well-being or for family related reasons (i.e. health related aspects). This implies that the extent of political consumerism is probably far less than reported in various studies. The value in this realisation is from a marketing perspective, that the marketers get a better understanding of the needs and wants of the consumers. This knowledge can be used for communication more efficiently with consumers of product and services with assumed build in political aspects. Furthermore, product development can be more efficient when the value drivers of the “political” consumer are better understood.
TidsskriftBusiness and Management Quarterly Review
Udgave nummer2-3
Antal sider27
StatusUdgivet - 14 feb. 2016


  • Political consumer, buycotting, organic food, case study, means-end chains, attributes, consequences, values, qualitative research

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