Written Paper

Organic and local food consumer behaviour: Alphabet Theory  [2009]

Zepeda, Lydia Deal, David

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Semi-structured interviews are conducted to understand why consumers buy organic and/or local foods. The interview findings are consistent with existing theoretical frameworks for explaining environmentally significant behaviour: Value-Belief-Norm (VBN) theory and Attitude-Behaviour-Context (ABC) theory. Findings show that organic food shoppers in particular are motivated by values, beliefs and the creation of norms. However, the interviews indicate that knowledge (K), information seeking (IS) and habit (H) are also important in understanding why consumers choose organic and local foods. Incorporating demographics (D) as well, the resulting VBN-ABC-D-K-IS-H or 'Alphabet Theory' is presented as a new framework to explain organic and local food purchase behaviour.