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Potato demand in an increasingly organic marketplace

  • Ming-Feng Hsieh

    (Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706-1503)

  • Paul D. Mitchell

    (Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706-1503)

  • Kyle W. Stiegert

    (Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706-1503)

The authors investigate pricing and demand issues for four fresh potato categories (russet, red, white, and minor colored), organic fresh potatoes, and two processed potato categories (frozen|refrigerated and dehydrated) using a nonlinear generalized almost ideal demand system (GAIDS) that is closed under unit scaling (CUUS). The model used regionally aggregated at-home consumption data from 2000 to 2005. Estimated uncompensated own price elasticities for fresh potatoes were highly significant and ranged between −0.5 and −1.6. The study was designed to capture the effects of the aggregate organic market on the prices, expenditures, and demand for each potato category. Organic food market penetration elasticities suggest that specialty potatoes (organic and minor-colored) are particularly well positioned if demands for organic products continue to rise, red potatoes are not well positioned and evidence of the early warning signs of slippage in market share for white and russet potatoes may exist. Producers and promoters of conventional potato products should account for the increasingly important role of organic products in making decisions. As an auxiliary exercise, we also statistically sourced the variance of the organic potato price premium relative to the other four fresh potato prices. At the present time, the variability of the organic potato premium is not much affected by production costs or other supply-related factors: the premium variability was driven largely by demand, and demographic|seasonal factors. Producers should be cautious about shifting to organic potato production until lower cost practices emerge. [JEL Codes: D120, Q130, Q180]. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Agribusiness.

Volume (Year): 25 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 369-394

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Handle: RePEc:wly:agribz:v:25:y:2009:i:3:p:369-394
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1520-6297

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