Typology of eaters based on conventional and organic food consumption: results from the NutriNet-Santé cohort study

Br J Nutr. 2016 Aug;116(4):700-9. doi: 10.1017/S0007114516002427. Epub 2016 Jun 17.


Limited information is available on large-scale populations regarding the socio-demographic and nutrient profiles and eating behaviour of consumers, taking into account both organic and conventional foods. The aims of this study were to draw up a typology of consumers according to their eating habits, based both on their dietary patterns and the mode of food production, and to outline their socio-demographic, behavioural and nutritional characteristics. Data were collected from 28 245 participants of the NutriNet-Santé study. Dietary information was obtained using a 264-item, semi-quantitative, organic FFQ. To identify clusters of consumers, principal component analysis was applied on sixteen conventional and sixteen organic food groups followed by a clustering procedure. The following five clusters of consumers were identified: (1) a cluster characterised by low energy intake, low consumption of organic food and high prevalence of inadequate nutrient intakes; (2) a cluster of big eaters of conventional foods with high intakes of SFA and cholesterol; (3) a cluster with high consumption of organic food and relatively adequate nutritional diet quality; (4) a group with a high percentage of organic food consumers, 14 % of which were either vegetarians or vegans, who exhibited a high nutritional diet quality and a low prevalence of inadequate intakes of most vitamins except B12; and (5) a group of moderate organic food consumers with a particularly high intake of proteins and alcohol and a poor nutritional diet quality. These findings may have implications for future aetiological studies investigating the potential impact of organic food consumption.

Keywords: Clusters; Dietary patterns; Nutrient intakes; Org-FFQ organic FFQ; Organic foods; Profiles of consumers; mPNNS-GS modified Programme National Nutrition Santé Guidelines Score.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet / methods
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Food Preferences*
  • Food, Organic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys / methods*
  • Nutritive Value
  • Socioeconomic Factors