Food Choice Motives When Purchasing in Organic and Conventional Consumer Clusters: Focus on Sustainable Concerns (The NutriNet-Santé Cohort Study)

Nutrients. 2017 Jan 24;9(2):88. doi: 10.3390/nu9020088.


The purpose of this study was to examine food choice motives associated with various organic and conventional dietary patterns among 22,366 participants of the NutriNet-Santé study. Dietary intakes were estimated using a food frequency questionnaire. Food choice motives were assessed using a validated 63-item-questionnaire gathered into nine food choice motive dimension scores: "absence of contaminants", "avoidance for environmental reasons", "ethics and environment", "taste", "innovation", "local and traditional production", "price", "health" and "convenience". Five consumers' clusters were identified: "standard conventional food small eaters", "unhealthy conventional food big eaters", "standard organic food small eaters", "green organic food eaters" and "hedonist moderate organic food eaters". Relationships between food choice motive dimension scores and consumers' clusters were assessed using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) models adjusted for sociodemographic factors. "Green organic food eaters" had the highest mean score for the "health" dimension, while "unhealthy conventional food big eaters" obtained the lowest mean score for the "absence of contaminants" dimension. "Standard organic food small eaters", "green organic food eaters" and "hedonist moderate organic food eaters" had comparable scores for the "taste" dimension. "Unhealthy conventional food big eaters" had the highest mean score for the "price" dimension while "green organic food eaters" had the lowest mean scores for the "innovation" and "convenience" dimensions. These results provide new insights into the food choice motives of diverse consumers' profiles including "green" and "hedonist" eaters.

Keywords: clusters of consumers; food choice motives; organic food consumption; sustainability.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Food Preferences*
  • Food, Organic
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Taste