Urban consumers’ attitude towards organic food in Sri Lanka

This research investigation aims to examine the urban consumers’ attitude towards organic food, and the factors affecting for their attitude. A consumer survey consisting of a sample of 600 consumers was conducted, using a pre-tested questionnaire, in major cities of six main districts of Sri Lanka during November 2016 - May 2018. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, factor analysis, and multiple linear regression analysis. Results revealed that majority of the consumers were married females. Most of them were of 18-40 years of age category and were educated up to the GCE advanced level. The sample’s monthly income ranged from Sri Lankan Rupees 58000 – 85000.  Although the majority of the consumers (75.2%) were aware of organic food, only 11.5% possessed a good knowledge about them. As per the mean analysis, the consumers had a positive attitude towards most aspects of organic food. According to factor analysis, four factors (environmental factors, quality factors, health factors, and marketing factors) were extracted as they are influenced to the consumer attitude for purchasing of organic foods. Results of multiple linear regression analysis revealed a positive relationship between consumers’ attitude and the extracted four factors which were based on the consumers’ attitude on purchasing of organic foods. Main problems faced by consumers in buying organic food were the high price, unavailability of organic food, lack of trust, and lack of market information on organic food. It can be concluded that by providing the necessary conditions such as arranging better marketing facilities with useful market information, a continuous supply of organic foods with reasonable price levels, and enhancing consumer knowledge, will motivate the consumers to purchase more organic food. As relatively low is known about consumers’ purchasing pattern of organic foods in Sri Lanka, findings of this study would be beneficial to the traders and policy makers to formulate effective strategies designed to marketing of organic foods in the country.


Willingness to pay for locally produced organic foods by urban consumers in Sri Lanka

Organic food consumption is gradually increasing among Sri Lankan consumers due to an increased awareness on healthy food. Some consumers ready to pay more for organic food, but it varies according to many factors. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to evaluate the urban consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for organically produced food in Sri Lanka. The specific objectives of the research were to investigate the socio-economic factors, the level of awareness on organic food, the present situation of buying, and the level of additional price ready to pay and analyze the impact of socio-economic factors on consumers’ willingness to pay. The research was conducted in urban Sri Lanka, covering capital cities of six urban districts of the country; Colombo, Galle, Gampaha, Kandy, Kurunegala, and Rathnapura. Data were collected from November 2016 to May 2018, from 600 consumers, by selecting 100 consumers per city. Data analyses employed were a descriptive analysis and binary logistic regression. Results revealed that, the most of the consumers were females, married, and with a comparatively higher level of education and monthly income. Most consumers had a significant level of awareness about organic food. A lesser proportion of consumers (24%) buys organic food at present, while the majority (52.4%) was willing to pay an extra price. Out of these consumers, the highest percentage (29.3%) prefers to pay 26% to 50% premium prices. As per the results of logistic regression, age, gender, monthly income, and education were the deciding factors for consumers’ willingness to pay a premium price for organic food. Results of this research are helpful for the development of production and marketing strategies and awareness programs for urban consumers on local organic food products.



Determinants of consumers’ purchase intention for local organic food in Urban Sri Lanka

Organic food marketing has currently become one of the most developing markets around the world, including Sri Lanka. Thus, the main aim of this study was to recognize the determinants of the purchase intention for local organic food among urban Sri Lankans. A consumer survey was conducted covering capital cities of six urban districts in Sri Lanka; Colombo, Galle, Gampaha, Kandy, Kurunegala, and Rathnapura using a sample of 600 consumers, from December 2016 to May 2018. Out of the 600 consumers, only 114 were purchasing organic food by that time, and those 114 consumers were chosen as the sample for this study.  Descriptive statistics, principal component analysis, and multiple linear regressions were used as data analysis techniques. According to the results, majority of the respondents belongs to the 31-45 year age category. While most respondents had an education up to GCE Advanced Level, significant percentages of respondents were educated up to graduate and post-graduate levels.  Also, most of the respondents received a monthly total income in between Sri Lankan Rupees 85,001 and 162,000 (approximately US dollars 473 – 900). Although one-fourth of the consumers are purchasing organic food at that time, a higher number is willing to buy them in future. As per the principal component analysis, health and environment consciousness, certification of organic food, marketing aspects of organic food, common parameters of organic food, awareness on the value of organic food, and market availability of organic food were the extracted determinants. The results of multiple linear regressions revealed that market availability, common parameters of organic food, and health and environment consciousness are the dominating variables of the purchase intention of organic food consumers. Thus, expanding the market conditions for organic food, establishing a better marketing system, conducting effective food awareness programs, and value addition for organic food are the identified timely essential recommendations.

JEL CODE: Q13, Q19