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Organic shopping basket

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Comparing conventional and organic grocery shopping

Consumers who mostly buy organic food products are known to be more environmentally aware, to care more about animal welfare, and to prefer wholesome, less processed food. However, it is not yet clear which specific product characteristics – such as the degree of processing, the kinds of ingredients and additives, the packaging – play a role in daily shopping decisions. To gain more insight into these factors we are presently conducting a comparative study among consumers: the 'Impact Organic Shopping Basket' project.

Keeping  track of food purchases and their environmental impact

In this study, the food purchasing behaviour of two groups of consumers will be followed during several weeks. One group consists of 'organic consumers' (> 90% of food purchases organic), while the other consists of 'conventional consumers' (< 10% of food purchases organic). The objective is to determine which environmental and health criteria play a role in purchasing decisions with regard to organic products. One of the environmental criteria is the carbon footprint, which will be calculated for various food products. Aspects such as packaging waste  and the amount of prepared food ending up in the organic  waste bin will also be included.  The resulting insights will help the organic sector to better tailor the supply of organic products to the expectations and wishes of consumers.

The 'Impact Organic Shopping Basket' project runs from 2013 to 2015 and is funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. It is carried out by the Louis Bolk Institute and Wageningen University & Research Centre, in collaboration with Udea, Bio+, Odin and Ekoplaza (organic food suppliers and organic supermarkets).



Lucy P.L. van de Vijver

Food Quality & Health