CONSUMERS' WILLINGNESS TO PAY MORE FOR ORGANIC FOOD IN CROATIA
Taking into consideration growing concerns about conventional agricultural practices, food safety, human health, animal welfare and the environment, the main goal of this paper is to identify the predictors of consumers' willingness to buy organic food and to pay a premium price for it. The research was conducted on a representative sample of respondents in the Republic of Croatia, a growing organic food market, using a highly structured questionnaire. Research results indicate that respondents in Croatia perceive organic food as more expensive, healthier and tastier than conventional food; also, they believe that the origin of organic food is strictly controlled. The results of hierarchical regression analysis indicate that higher monthly household income predicts a greater willingness to pay (WTP) a higher price for organic food compared to conventional food. Also, perception of organic food as healthier and tastier than conventional food predicts a greater WTP a higher price for organic food compared to conventional products. It is expected that research results will be useful for food retailers in their market communication strategies towards further development and overall growth of the organic food market in Croatia. This research is one of its kind as it captures WTP a premium price for organic food and identifies the main factors influencing WTP a premium price for organic food on the growing Croatian market.
Keywords: Organic food, willingness to pay, premium price, consumer behaviour, survey research, Croatia
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