Consumer Perception of Organic Food in Emerging Markets: Evidence from Saint Petersburg, Russia

Viola Bruschi*, Ksenia Shershneva, Irina Dolgopolova, Maurizio Canavari, Ramona Teuber

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study provides insights on urban Russian consumers' attitudes and perceptions toward organic food, as well as factors that facilitate or prevent them from purchasing these products. We adopted an exploratory mixed-method approach, using a combination of qualitative and quantitative investigations undertaken in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Our results suggest that organic food consumption is mainly motivated by personal well-being and less by social or environmental concerns. Most participants perceive organic food as higher quality products, based upon which they show an acceptance of a price premium for organic food. The group of organic food consumers in our study relies on organic agriculture as one possible strategy to cope with food safety problems. The presence of strict standards for organic food, the trustworthiness of foreign certifications and the perceived higher quality of foreign products (especially from Europe) are perceived together as a safety guarantee. Our results further indicate that the widespread confusion regarding product recognition represents an important obstacle for organic food consumption growth. Implementing a coherent legislative framework to allow product labeling is apparently crucial yet not sufficient for developing the organic sector in Russia; moreover, trust in food labeling and control systems as well as awareness about organic standards is also required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-432
Number of pages19
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
  • Consumer Protection
  • Collectives; Communes; Agriculture
  • Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions: Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training: Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty
  • Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
  • Agricultural R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
  • Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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