When Consumers are in Doubt, You Better Watch Out! The Moderating Role of Consumer Skepticism and Subjective Knowledge in the Context of Organic Food Consumption

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Abstract

Despite numerous scholarly attempts, there is a lack of consensus regarding the relevance of various factors influencing consumer’s intention to purchase organic food. The purpose of this study is to asses the impact of subjective and personal norms on consumer attitude toward buying organic food. Moreover, this study aims to explore the moderating role of contextual factors - product knowledge and consumer scepticism on the norms- attitude link. Data were collected through an online survey on a sample of 212 organic food buyers in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Moderated regression analysis was used to test the hypothesized relations between the constructs of interest. Findings indicate the subjective and personal norms are positively and significantly related to consumer attitude toward organic food purchases. Also, our findings revealed that product knowledge strengthens the subjective norms-attitude relationship, while consumer scepticism toward organic food claims weakens the subjective norms-attitude link. This study informs producers, marketers, and policy-makers about the relative importance of norms, scepticism, and knowledge in the context of organic food consumption.

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