Quality and availability of organic foods by Slovak consumers
Keywords:organic food, consumer behavior, reasons of purchase, quality, availability
The increasing consumer demand for organic products caused that the organic food market has expanded in all continents of the world. Organic foods represent a specific segment of the food market. Currently land area farmed organically in Slovakia represents 9% of the total agricultural land. In this work we identified organic foods purchase by Slovak consumers, the availability, reasons of purchase and quality assortment of organic foods at the Slovak market. Questionnaire survey involved 271 respondents. The Hierarchical multiple factor analysis was used for the segregation and classification of consumers into representative groups. The group of respondents was based on algorithms divided into three groups. In the first group of respondents, prevalent are responses that assortment is not sufficient and no answer, in the second group think that organic food assortment is not sufficient, and in the third group of respondents also dominates opinion that is not sufficient. At the question of organic food quality in all three groups is prevalent opinion that it is rather high, in the first group nearly the third of respondents considered the quality of organic foods as rather low, in the second group of respondents is rate: „rather low“ response and „rather high“ almost equal. In the third group of respondents strongly dominated response that the quality of organic food is rather high. Regarding the availability of organic products at the Slovak market, 16% of respondents considered it to be sufficient, 54% of consumers considered assortment as not enough available for all. We also analyzed the reasons of buying organic food. 42% of respondents reported that the main reason for buying organic food is a concern for the environment and landscape, 33% of respondents state it is a pleasure and the opportunity to try something unusual, 11% reported confidence in the quality of organic food and 7% their health care. Environmental education in the family since childhood and the opinions of friends significantly influence consumers when buying food and organic food. We assume that, organic food will be processed minimally in the future. Consumer demand for organic food we recommend to increase by increased support of the direct sales, informing about quality of organic foods and their beneficial effects on the human body at basic and secondary schools, organizing of excursions to organic farms and processing companies.
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