Are Organic Food Labels Inadequate? Evidence from Consumers in Australia

Joanna Henryks, David Pearson, Tatiana Anisimova, Parves Sultan


The organic sector is one of the fastest growing food markets in the developed world, with a significant number of consumers continuing to prioritise these products that are perceived to be healthier and more sustainably sourced. The body of existing research has identified that very few consumers are dedicated organic food buyers hence most are purchasing it only some of the time. The most commonly identified barriers to purchasing more are associated with price premiums and limited availability. This paper adds to the literature by exploring another barrier, that of potentially inadequate information on product labels. Based on a large study of consumers in Australia (N=1011) findings show the majority feel information provided on labels is inadequate, and that this has a negative impact on their purchasing behaviour. Priorities for the organic industry to address this consumer concern are enhancing visibility and confidence in organic certification logos, and explaining what organic food is on product labels. Enhancing these marketing communications by providing supporting information via the Internet, as it is now more important than product labels, is likely to further enhance sales.

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Business and Management Studies     ISSN 2374-5916 (Print)     ISSN 2374-5924 (Online)

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