Consumer Attitudes, Knowledge, and Behavior in the Russian Market for Organic Food

Oliver Meixner, Rainer Haas, Yana Perevoshchikova, Maurizio Canavari


In the past few decades, the market for organic food has developed well in Western European countries and comparable markets like the United States or Canada. While these markets are now approaching market saturation, other markets still have huge potential for growth and are therefore of special interest to export companies. In this paper, we analyze the demands, knowledge, and expectations of the emerging market in Russia. It is well documented that the Russian market for organic food has had a much higher growth rate than Western markets in recent years. According to the USDA, the Russian market grew significantly during the last years. The increase might also be due to changes in Russian consumers’ behavior. However, some challenges must be considered when entering the Russian market with premium products: (1) a large number of low‐income consumers are not able to
pay for premium products, and (2) up until now, there have been no official organic labels available in Russia, and, therefore, it is likely that the Russian population lacks knowledge of what organic food is and which requirements are connected to the organic production process. Considering these restrictions, we analyzed important factors affecting Russian consumers’ food choice on the one hand and their knowledge of organic food on the other. This paper presents results for one specific product (organic potatoes), which can be considered to be a typical alternative to low‐priced, conventional products. A conjoint analysis was conducted in Saint Petersburg (n = 300) to investigate the importance of the buying attributes of organic potatoes. While the results are not representative of the whole Russian market, they show crucial differences in consumer attitudes compared to Western markets and confirm that the average consumer knowledge about this product category remains low. These findings offer valuable information to those stakeholders of the supply chain who want to enter a market with high growth rates but obvious shortcomings.


Russian Federation, organic food, organic labels, food choice, consumer perception, conjoint analysis

Full Text:



ISSN 1869-6945


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License