Organic Food Consumption in Germany

Abstract: Health is an important motivation for the consumption of both organic and functional foods. The aim of this study was to clarify to what extent the consumption of organic and functional foods are characterized by a healthier lifestyle and a higher level of well-being. Moreover, the influence of social desirability on the respondents’ response behavior was of interest and was also analyzed. Well-being and health was measured in a sample of 555 German consumers at two levels: the cognitive-emotional and the behavioral level. The results show that although health is an important aspect for both functional food and organic food consumption, these two forms of consumption were influenced by different understandings of health: organic food consumption is influenced by an overall holistic healthy lifestyle including a healthy diet and sport, while functional food consumption is characterized by small “adjustments” to lifestyle to enhance health and to increase psychological well-being. An overlap between the consumption of organic and functional food was also observed. This study provides information which enables a better characterization of the consumption of functional food and organic food in terms of well-being and health.

Reference: Goetzke, B., et al. (2014). Consumption of organic and functional food. A matter of well-being and health?. Appetite 77: 96-105. Available online at