Consumer decision-making on organic products (CONDOR)


The market for organically produced foods remains relatively small. If it is to increase then there needs to be a systematic and scientific examination of the consumer decision-making processes involved in the choice between organic and non-organic foods. 

This project is co-ordinated by the University of Surrey and brings together a multidisciplinary team across eight EU member states to examine this topic. It combines the development of methods for the segmentation of consumers based upon values and the elicitation of affective (emotional) associations and moral concerns. It involves the development of a theoretically based consumer decision-making model and the testing of this model in eight EU member states and in identified consumer segments. It will provide information on the role played by values and by affective associations and moral concerns in consumer decision-making on organic foods and provide novel insights into the marketing of organic foods in the future.


The overall objectives of CONDOR are:

  • To provide a basic understanding of the processes involved in consumer decision-making on the purchase and consumption of processed and fresh organic foods
  • To model consumer choice of organic foods based on attitudes, values, affective and moral concerns over eight EU member states

CONDOR will provide: 

  • Novel methods for uncovering emotional and moral concerns which might influence the choice of organic foods
  • Methods for segmenting consumers based on their values
  • Databases of consumer attitudes, values, emotional and moral concerns in relation to organic foods
  • An understanding of cross-European differences in the impact of emotional and moral influences on the choice of organic foods
  • Dissemination to stakeholders, including industry, consumer groups and NGOs, via a website and through brochures and workshops targeted at particular stakeholder groups
  • A synthesis of the implications for the European marketing of organic foods 



Project partners 

  • Dr Liisa Lähteenmäki, VTT Biotechnology, Finland
  • Dr Anna Saba, Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca per gli Alimenti e la Nutrizione via Ardeatina, Rome, Italy
  • Dr George Chryssochoidis, Agricultural University of Athens, Department of Agricultural Economics, Athens, Greece
  • Prof. Jose Munuera, Facultad de Economia y Empresa, Universidad de Murcia, Murcia, Spain
  • Prof. Dr John Thøgersen, The Aarhus School of Business, The MAPP Centre, Aarhus, Denmark
  • Dr Erika Claupein, Bundesforschungsanstalt für Ernährung Institut für Ernaehrungsökonomie und -soziologie, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • Prof. Per-Olow Sjödén, Uppsala University, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden 




Shepherd, R., Magnusson, M. K. & Sjoden, P. O. (2005). Determinants of consumer behavior related to organic foods. Ambio, 34, 252-359.

Dean, M., Arvola, A., Vassallo, M., Lahteenmaki, L., Raats, M. M., Saba, A., & Shepherd, R. (2006). Comparison of elicitation methods for moral and affective beliefs in the theory of planned behaviour. Appetite, 47, 244-252.

Arvola, A., Vassallo, M., Dean, M., Lampila, P., Saba, A., Lahteenmaki, L., & Shepherd, R. (2008). Predicting intentions to purchase organic food: The role of affective and moral attitudes in the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Appetite, 50, 443-454.

Dean, M., Raats, M. M., & Shepherd, R. (2008). Moral concerns and consumer choice of fresh and processed organic foods. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 38, 2088-2107.

Dean, M., Raats, M. M., & Shepherd, R. (in press).The role of self-identity, past behaviour and their interaction in predicting intention to purchase fresh and processed organic food. Journal of Applied Social Psychology.

Conference presentations

Dean, M. & Shepherd, R. (2003). Including affect and moral concerns in attitudes towards organic food. Appetite, 41, 344. Poster presented at the 11th Food Choice Conference, Philadelphia, 26 July 2003.

Shepherd, R. & Dean, M. (2003). The role of values and moral concerns in organic food choice. Poster presented at the 5th Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium, Boston, 20-24 July 2003.

Shepherd, R. & Dean, M. (2003). The role of values and moral concerns in organic food choice. Poster at the BCPC International Congress, Crop Science and Technology 2003, 10-12 November 2003, Glasgow.

Shepherd, R. (2004). Determinants of consumer behaviour related to organic foods. Invited lecture at Food 21 Symposium Towards Sustainable Production and Consumption, Uppsala, Sweden, 26-28 April 2004.

Shepherd, R. (2004). Methods for assessing the role of moral influences on consumer decision-making on organic foods. Invited lecture at 9th Karlsruhe Nutrition Congress, Consumer & Nutrition. Challenges and Chances for Research and Society, Karlsruhe, Germany, 10-12 October 2004.

Shepherd, R., Dean, M., Arvola, A., Lahteenmaki, L., Saba, A. & Vassallo, M. (2005). Methods for eliciting consumer beliefs about fresh and processed organic foods. Paper presented at the Soil Association's 17th Annual Conference 'Organic farming, food quality and health', Newcastle, 6-9 January 2005.

Arvola, A., Vassallo, M., Dean, M., Saba, A., Lahteenmaki, L. & Shepherd, R. (2005). Purchase intentions of organic apples and pizza. Including affective and moral attitude into the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Poster to be presented at the 6th Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium, Harrogate, UK, 7-11 August 2005.

Munuera, J.L., Pemartín, M. & Shepherd, R. (2005). The European consumer of organic products. First results of a qualitative research about the Spanish consumer. Paper presented at the V International PENSA conference, Brazil, 27-29 July.

Shepherd, R. & Dean, M. (2005). Affective and moral influences on consumer choice of organic foods. Poster at the European Experimental Social Psychology Conference, Wurzburg, Germany, 19-23 July 2005.

Shepherd, R. & Dean, M. (2005). Moral concerns and consumer choice of fresh and processed organic foods. Paper to be presented at the 6th Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium, Harrogate, UK, 7-11 August 2005.


Research groups and centres

Our research is supported by research groups and centres of excellence.

Food, consumer behaviour and health research centre