HYDERABAD: Brand image and celebrity endorsement drives credibility of organic products in the city more than the scientific evidence on its packaging or quality certification, found a recent study aimed at finding the consumption trends of organic food in Hyderabad.The study titled “Consumer Buying behaviour –a study with Reference to Organic Products in Hyderabad City” by B Lavanya, assistant professor at Chaitanya Bharathi Institute of Technology (CBIT) and S Saraswathi, an associate professor at the same college, was published in International Journal of Engineering Technology Science and Research (IJETSR) in January.
The study which was conducted among 120 consumers and a few organic retailers in the city found out that 40 per cent of the consumers evaluated authenticity of an organic product based on the investment made by the brand i.e. brand image. As many as 15 per cent of the people rely on endorsements by their favourite celebrities.
Though there are considerable amount of people who opt for their organic product the right way, it falls short when compared to those who go for options that might not assure the best quality. The percentage of people who chose to check the scientific evidence and the government’s quality certification stood at 24 per cent and 21 per cent respectively.
Dr Deepa Agarwal, a city-based dietician and nutrionist, said, “While seeking out and purchasing organic and local food, one should always buy from a local farmer or vendor. Soil type should be checked, apart from the use of pesticides and fertiliser during farming. Look for the price and read labels before purchase,” Agarwal said. Organic fraud is a fast-increasing issue in Europe and North America. Last year, millions of pounds of non-organic soyabeans and corns from Eastern Europe had received organic labelling by the time it reached the US shores.
Meanwhile, the study also found that groceries are the most sought after products in organic stores, followed by food items and fruits/vegetables. Around 82 per cent of the people bought groceries from local stores. This is because most Hyderabadis in the study believed that organic products are, firstly, different from conventional products and, secondly, buying organic products reflects one’s commitment to sustainable consumption.