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A sequence analysis of organic and conventional food consumers’ visual information acquisition
It is of significant importance in food marketing to know which pieces of information available during shopping are most relevant to consumers. The visual search behaviour of consumers allows inference on the relevance of information based on what information is acquired and when. It is assumed that price is a major barrier to the purchase of organic food. However, little is known about consumers’ actual acquisition of information on organic food prices. To examine the information acquisition behaviour of consumers buying organic and consumers buying conventional food, a shopping simulation study was run in which participants (n=189) were invited to choose between different unfamiliar organic and conventional product alternatives while wearing eye-tracking glasses. The data were divided into three visual attention phases: orientation phase, comparison phase, and evaluation phase. The information intake in the phases was investigated comparing organic and conventional consumers. Organic consumers acquired less information on conventional prices in the orientation and evaluation phases. It is concluded that for organic consumers, price information is less relevant to making a purchase decision compared to consumers of conventional food.