Who buys organic food, and who prioritizes local food?
We provide some insights on this question in a new article published by Canadian Food Studies. The article, authored by Shyon Baumann, Athena Engmann, Emily Huddart-Kennedy and me, is based on a survey of food shoppers in Toronto. Here are a few of our key findings:
- The intention to buy organic food tends to be associated with parents who have children under the age of five. Health and taste concerns are top of mind in informing their purchases.
- The intention to buy local food tends to be associated with educated, white women consumers. For these shoppers, collectivist concerns like the environment and supporting the local economy are a key motivator.
- We argue that the predominant ‘individualist’ vs. ‘collectivist’ framing in the scholarly literature should be reformulated to accommodate an intermediate motivation.
- Organic food consumption is often motivated by a desire to consume for others (e.g. children) in ways that aren’t straightforwardly individualist or collectivist, but that instead exemplify a caring motivation that falls somewhere between the two.