Perceptions of “Organic” Food: A View Through Brand Theory

Julie V. Stanton, Deirdre T. Guion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Globally, the organic food industry has experienced impressive growth rates, especially in the United States and Europe, yet still accounts for a relatively small portion of total food sales. In the United States, it constitutes less than 5% percent of food sales despite a decade of support by the U.S. National Organic Standard. Using the United States as a context, the authors show through survey data and confirmatory factor analysis that when “organic” is examined through the lens of brand theory, it is clear that it has yet to attain brand equity. There is evidence of brand awareness and perceived quality, suggesting that the industry has moved in the right direction. Yet negative perceptions of value and no evidence of brand loyalty undermine the industry’s goals. Because “organic” carries different significance to different consumers, the industry will have to develop a cohesive strategy to reestablish “organic” in a unified way. For country markets of similar experience with organic food, and for markets just beginning to consider consumer interest in organic food, these lessons from the United States offer guidance for policy and marketing strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-141
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of International Food and Agribusiness Marketing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Food Science
  • Marketing


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