Swedish Consumers' Perception of Food Quality and Sustainability in Relation to Organic Food Production

Foods. 2018 Apr 1;7(4):54. doi: 10.3390/foods7040054.

Abstract

Consumers' demand for locally produced and organic foods has increased in Sweden. This paper presents the results obtained from the analysis of data acquired from 100 consumers in Sweden who participated in an online survey during March to June 2016. The objective was to identify consumers' demand in relation to organic food and sustainable food production, and to understand how the consumers evaluate food quality and make buying decisions. Qualitative descriptions, descriptive statistics and Pearson's Chi-square test (with alpha value of p < 0.05 as level of significance), and Pearson's correlation coefficient were used for analysis. About 72% of participants have the perception that organic food production method is more sustainable than conventional methods. Female consumers have more positive attitudes than men towards organic food. However, age difference, household size and income level do not significantly influence the consumers' perception of sustainable food production concepts. Regionality, sustainable methods of production and organic production are the most important parameters to characterize the food as high quality and make buying decisions. On the other hand, product uniformity, appearance, and price were found to be relatively less important parameters. Food buying decisions and food quality were found to be highly related with Pearson's correlation coefficient of r = 0.99.

Keywords: consumers’ food buying decision; food quality; organic food; sustainable food production.