Confidence in organic food

Research project: Confidence in organic food

Duration of project

September 2019 - December 2022

In cooperation with

Thünen-Institut für Marktanalyse
Dr. Inken Christoph-Schulz
Bundesallee 63
38116 Braunschweig

Assoziation ökologischer Lebensmittelhersteller e.V. (AÖL)
Anne Baumann und Lisa Mann
Untere Badersgasse 8
97769 Bad Brückenau

Prokribus GmbH
Institut für Sozialforschung
Dr. Thomas Krikser
Kniegasse 23
37213 Witzenhausen


The increasing demand for organic products goes along with changing production and marketing structures in the organic sector. Nowadays, supermarkets and discounters offer a wide range of organic products whereas a decreasing percentage of organic products is sold via direct marketing channels. Diversification of marketing channels and possibilities offered by social media allow addressing more consumers. However, there is a risk of a loss of confidence because the distance between the origin of a product and the consumer increases. On the one hand, this reduces transparency and traceability, and on the other, it alienates consumers, which can result in a mismatch of consumer images of organic farming and real production conditions. Both developments hinder the development and strengthening of confidence into the organic sector.

Based on consumer surveys and interviews with experts from various stages of the value chain, the aim of the planned research project is to determine in a target-group-specific way for non-, occasional and intensive buyers of organic food, how trust is formed in different marketing channels.  The point of view of the operators as well as of the consumers will be considered. Existing confidence-building measures of different marketing channels will be examined and further developed. The contents of messages that are conveyed and the linguistic way in which they are conveyed (framing) will be examined and recommendations developed on how these can be improved for specific target groups and markets.