When Drivers Become Inhibitors of Organic Consumption: The Need for a Multistage View
Authors: Robert Mai, Stefan Hoffmann, Ingo Balderjahn (Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 2021, 49: 1151–1174)
The organic market is characterized by remarkable disparities, and confusion persists about which motives drive organic consumption. To understand them, this research introduces the idea that the same consumer motives can exert different and potentially opposite impacts when organic consumption patterns unfold. The proposed multistage theory of differential effects distinguishes a participation stage, when consumers decide whether to purchase organic at all, and an expenditure stage, when consumers decide about how much of their budget to spend on organic products across purchases. An analysis of shopping patterns of approximately 14,000 households confirms the proposed differential influences: Other-oriented motives (care for others and the environment) support participation but impede sustained expenditures. Only self-oriented motives (hedonism) foster both participation and expenditures. The results pinpoint the need to rethink organic consumption as a stage-specific problem, which opens up new perspectives for managers about an old but persistent problem.
Keywords: Double-hurdle model, Decision stages, Expenditures, Shopping pattern, Organic consumption