Preferences and Determinants for Organic, Conventional and Conventional-plus Products: The Case of Occasional Organic Consumers

Hanna Stolz, Matthias Stolze, Meike Janssen, Ulrich Hamm

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


As a result of continuous growth in the organic market, organic food is increasingly available in conventional retail outlets, where organic products are placed alongside both conventional and so called conventional-plus products. Conventional-plus products are food products with particular attributes that also apply to organic products, such as ‘no artificial additives or flavours’. This overlap provokes the question whether conventional-plus products might compete with organic products.
The aim of our study was to identify occasional organic consumers’ preferences and underlying determinants in relation to organic, conventional and conventional-plus milk, fruit yoghurt and apples in Germany and Switzerland. To achieve these objectives, we conducted purchase simulations combined with face-to-face interviews. The data were analysed using contingency tables and multinomial logit models.
In the purchase simulations, a large proportion of consumers who usually buy conventional products switched to conventional-plus products. This indicates that conventional-plus products compete with conventional rather than with organic products. Consumer attitudes towards the attributes ‘from pasture-raised cows’, ‘no preventive use of antibiotics’, ‘no use of genetically modified organisms’, ‘organic production’, ‘domestic production’ and ‘higher price for higher quality’ determined their preferences for organic, conventional and conventional-plus products. Differences in attitudes between organic and conventional buyers were generally larger than those between conventional-plus and conventional buyers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)772-779
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Organic
  • Consumer
  • Food choice
  • Preference
  • Attitude
  • Buying behaviour
  • Multinomial logit model

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