Health-Improving Lifestyles of Organic/Functional Food Consumers

Abstract: The desire for health and well-being is a strong driver in the food market. Scientific publications show that health is an important motive for both functional and organic food consumption. The aim of this study is to investigate whether functional and organic food consumers have the same understanding of health, and which health and well-being improving lifestyles are characteristic for them. Based on this, the authors identify dimensions for a wellness-orientated lifestyle model. Design/methodology/approach - In order to measure the different well-being and health lifestyles, MO dimensions were adapted to theoretical wellness concepts. The results of the conducted factor and multiple OLS regression analyses are based on the data of an online survey of 500 German consumers.
Findings - Consumers of functional food have a similar concept of health and well-being to organic consumers, but differ in certain aspects in their way of achieving this. The purchase of organic and functional food is driven by different lifestyles. Overall, the results confirm the link between organic food and an active lifestyle, as well as functional food and a passive lifestyle. Practical implications - The paper contributes to the discussion of health in marketing and especially in the food industry. The results reveal which kinds of lifestyle food marketing should be considered in a target group specific product communication and positioning. Originality/value - This study contributes to the understanding of consumer behaviour, especially in the organic and functional food segment. It highlights the importance of health for both food types and also important differences in the understanding of wellness. Moreover, the results reveal first dimensions for a wellness-orientated lifestyle approach - especially for the food market.

Reference: Goetzke, B.I. et al. (2014). Health-improving lifestyles of organic and functional food consumers. British Food Journal 116(3): 510-526. Available online at