Consumer Attitude Towards Buying Organic Food in Hong Kong

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Research Rationale

Since the late 20th century, there has been a significant change in attitude and desire towards the consumption of organic foods. Many people were unaware of organic food, but with increased technology, more than 80% of the world population is currently aware of organic foods and their value (Nica, 2020). With the increased incidence of lifestyle and behavior diseases such as heart disorders and diabetes, many consumers realize the significance of consuming quality food products free from toxins (Rana and Paul, 2017). This resulted in the motto “You are what you eat,” this perception increased the demand for organic food products, with consumers and producers putting efforts on eco-friendly food products.

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Globally, there has been rising popularity on the nutritional value of organic foods. Many people are changing their attitudes regarding organic foods because of people’s expectations of organic food products (Pham et al., 2018). When quality product prices are lowered, many people tend to increase their purchases of the product. This applies to organic food products since their prices have greatly enhanced the change in consumer attitude. Many people prefer purchasing organic food products because they are cheap and have a significant value on people’s life (Hwang and Chung, 2019). Furthermore, many sellers increased their promotion of organic food products, and this awareness has attracted many consumers.

Research Aim

The aim of this research is to determine the factors that affect attitudes towards purchasing organic food in Hong Kong.

Research Question

The research question is to what extent does the safety concern, organic food knowledge, and health consciousness affect the consumers’ attitude towards purchasing organic food in Hong Kong?

Research objective

The research objective is to investigate the relationship between health consciousness, safety concern, and organic food knowledge to purchasing organic food in Hong Kong.

Literature Review

Conceptual Framework

Currently, buying and selling of organic products have increased rapidly. Many people are changing their diet from fast food to organic foods (Basha and Lal, 2019). The rising health challenges and the increased environmental degradation has favored the expansion of organic food consumption (Nguyen et al., 2019). However, many consumers have changed their consumption pattern of organic food because of their change in attitude. Figure 1 below is the conceptual framework that has been adapted from Cembalo et al. (2019).

Conceptual framework
Figure 1.0: Conceptual framework

Health Consciousness

Health consciousness portrays the consumer’s thoughts regarding their health and whether they are ready to take any action to ensure their wellbeing. Most consumers counter-check their health condition with the food products they consume (Lee, 2016). Many consumers perceive organic food products as safe and healthy. From the study conducted by Bryla, organic food consumers believe that they are very nutritious (Bryła, 2016). It is therefore noted that the health consciousness of the consumer greatly determines the consumption of organic food. However, the consumer’s health consciousness is irrelevant in predating the consumers’ attitude towards organic products. According to Lee (2016), health consciousness has less impact on forecasting the attitude of the consumer regarding organic foods. This gives the following hypothesis;

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H1: Consumers’ health consciousness has a positive impact on their attitude towards buying organic food.

Food Safety Concern

From the study conducted by Wang, Shen, and Gao (2018), consumers have raised their concerns regarding food safety. Food safety has been an area of focus, considering that there have been incidences of fertilizers and chemicals that have traces of heavy metal coagulating on food crops (Pham et al., 2018). Many consumers associate food safety with the food production process, including antibiotics, fertilizers, pesticides, and artificial additives. Organic food products are considered safe because they are free from chemicals in food production (Rana and Paul, 2017). Many people are always keen on the type of food they are eating as they fear risking their lives by contracting chronic diseases that result from heavy metals such as cancer. This leads to the following hypothesis;

H2: Consumers’ food safety concern has a positive impact on their attitude towards buying organic food.

Organic Food Knowledge

Several researchers view awareness and knowledge of organic food as a determinant of consumers’ purchasing decisions. Some researchers argue that inadequate consumer knowledge concerning organic foods is a great barrier in purchasing organic food products (McReynolds, Gillan, and Naquin, 2017). This knowledge is crucial as it determines the consumers’ judging ability on the varieties of organic foods. The objective and subjective knowledge regarding organic food determine the consumers’ purchase ability (Wu, Zhou, and Chien, 2019). Consumers’ awareness of objective knowledge is essential as it enhances the subjective knowledge that drives the attitude towards purchasing organic food (Razeghi, Haghi, and Yunesian, 2018). The consumers’ understanding of organic food products positively impacts the purchasing decision. This results in the following hypothesis;

H3: Consumers’ organic food knowledge has a positive impact on their attitude towards buying organic food.

Research Methodology

Research Philosophy

This paper uses the philosophy of epistemology and ontology to attain the objectives and aim of the research. Ontology is a research philosophy that focuses on explaining the way things or objects in nature exist (Schiffer, 2019). The paper uses ontology research philosophy to explain the attitudes of the consumer regarding organic foods. Epistemology research philosophy aims to explain how data was gathered and the types of sources used to gather data (McKinnon, 2018). In this research, it is used to describe the way information regarding consumers’ attitudes was collected.

Research Approach

This research used the scientific deductive technique to examine the attitudes of consumers towards organic food. The deductive approach used structured questionnaires with reliable and valid measurements to collect primary data for hypothesis testing (Blanchflower, 2018). The quantitative methodology is significant because it is easy to handle data and variables when performing linear model predictions.

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Research Design

Sample survey research design was employed in the collection of primary data of this research.

Questionnaire and Measures

The questionnaire consisted of two sections; the first part focused on collecting demographic data. The second section consists of questions that focus on testing the research hypotheses such as food safety concerns, health consciousness, and organic food knowledge. The measures in this research are the independent and dependent variables. The independent variable is the attitude of the consumer towards purchasing organic foods. A five-point Likert scale was used, distributed as follows; 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, each representing strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, and strongly agree, respectively. The dependent variables for the study are the three items; health consciousness, food safety concern, and organic food knowledge.

Table 1.0: Measurement

Food safety concern
Foods contain residues from chemical sprays and fertilizers
Concern regarding the number of antibiotics, veterinary residues, and preservatives in meat
Concern regarding the quality and safety of meat
Health consciousness
Choosing meat carefully to ensure good health
Personal considerations regarding health
Frequency of thinking regarding health issues
Organic food knowledge
Knowledge extent regarding organic meat
Information regarding the judging of the quality of organic meat
Information regarding the environmental and health benefits of organic meat
People expertise views on me regarding organic meat
Attitude towards buying organic food
Buying organic meat instead of conventional meat is beneficial
Purchase of organic meat instead of conventional meat is a wise choice
Purchase of organic meat instead of conventional meat makes me feel good
Buying organic meat instead of conventional meat makes me feel pleased

Sampling, Sample Size, and Participants

The paper uses a simple random sampling method to select qualified individuals for participation in the questionnaire. The sample size was calculated using the formula N > 50 + 8m (where m = number of the independent variable). Since there were three independent variables, the minimum case required was 74. The participants for this research study are parents and housewives who have considerable knowledge regarding health consciousness and safety concerns of food.

Data Collection

Data for this survey was collected from the questionnaire uploaded to online forums such as the baby kingdom forum and beauty exchange forum. The questionnaire time was approximately 5 minutes to enable the respondent to complete the survey without any pressure.

Data Analysis

The analysis of data is done using the SPSS software version 25. The process involves data cleaning, sorting data, and performing multiple linear regression analysis to determine the causal relationship of the independent variable to the consumer’s attitude.

Reference List

Basha, M. and Lal, D., 2019. Indian consumers’ attitudes towards purchasing organically produced foods: An empirical study. Journal of Cleaner Production, 215, pp.99-111.

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Blanchflower, T., 2018. Leavy, P. (2017). Research Design: Quantitative, Qualitative, Mixed Methods, Arts-Based, and Community-Based Participatory Research Approaches. New York, NY: The Guilford Press. ISBN 9781462514380. 300 pp. (Paperback). Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 47(1), pp.101-102.

Bryła, P., 2016. Organic food consumption in Poland: Motives and barriers. Appetite, 105, pp.737-746.

Cembalo, L. et al., 2019. The “Land of fires” toxic waste scandal and its effect on consumer food choices. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(1), p.165.

Hwang, J. and Chung, J., 2019. What drives consumers to certain retailers for organic food purchase: The role of fit for consumers’ retail store preference? Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 47, pp.293-306.

Lee, H., 2016. Individual and situational determinants of U.S. Consumers’ buying behavior of organic foods. Journal of International Food & Agribusiness Marketing, 28(2), pp.117-131.

McKinnon, R., 2018. The Epistemology of Propaganda. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 96(2), pp.483-489.

McReynolds, K., Gillan, W., and Naquin, M., 2017. An examination of college students’ knowledge, perceptions, and behaviors regarding organic foods. American Journal of Health Education, 49(1), pp.48-55.

Nguyen, H. et al., 2019. Organic food purchases in an emerging market: The influence of consumers’ personal factors and green marketing practices of Food Stores. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(6), p.1037.

Nica, E., 2020. Buying organic food as sustainable consumer decision-making behavior: Cognitive and affective attitudes as drivers of purchase intentions toward environmentally friendly products. SHS Web of Conferences, 74, p.04018.

Pham, T.H. et al., 2018. Evaluating the purchase behaviour of organic food by young consumers in an emerging market economy. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 27(6), pp.540–556.

Rana, J. and Paul, J., 2017. Consumer behavior and purchase intention for organic food: A review and research agenda. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 38, pp.157-165.

Razeghi, F., Haghi, E. and Yunesian, M., 2018. Data about knowledge and tendency towards organic foods use in Tehran. Data in Brief, 16, pp.955-958.

Schiffer, S., 2019. Amie thomasson’s easy approach to ontology. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 99(1), pp.244-250.

Wang, J., Shen, M. and GAO, Z., 2018. Research on the irrational behavior of consumers’ safe consumption and its influencing factors. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(12), p.2764.

Wu, W., Zhou, L. and Chien, H., 2019. Impact of consumer awareness, knowledge, and attitudes on organic rice purchasing behavior in China. Journal of Food Products Marketing, 25(5), pp.549-565.

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"Consumer Attitude Towards Buying Organic Food in Hong Kong." BusinessEssay, 19 Sept. 2022,


BusinessEssay. (2022) 'Consumer Attitude Towards Buying Organic Food in Hong Kong'. 19 September.


BusinessEssay. 2022. "Consumer Attitude Towards Buying Organic Food in Hong Kong." September 19, 2022.

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BusinessEssay. "Consumer Attitude Towards Buying Organic Food in Hong Kong." September 19, 2022.