1 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 Department of Marketing and Statistics, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University3 MAPP - Centre for Research on Customer Relations in the Food Sector, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University4 Marketing and Sustainability, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University5 The Business School of Sun Yat-Sen University6 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
Little research has been published on Chinese consumer-citizens’ adoption of or willingness to adopt sustainable lifestyle elements. A case in point is organic food – a more sustainable alternative to conventional food. Organic food is a Western invention. However, organic food products are now available in upscale supermarkets in East and South-east China metropolises such as Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou. This paper reports the results of a study investigating what motivates early adopters of organic food in China. The data were collected in Guangzhou by means of a mallintercept survey. As in Western Europe, the early adoption of organic food in China is positively related to what Schwartz termed “universalism values.” Also as in the West, the personal attitude towards buying organic food in China is strongly linked to beliefs about its healthiness, taste and environmental friendliness. Social norms play a minor role for the intention to buy organic food, probably because the early adopters have few role models and face few expectations in this respect.