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Organic Produce: Who's Eating it? A Demographic Profile of Organic Produce Consumers

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  • Dettmann, Rachael L.

Abstract

The organic market sector is one of the fastest growing food sectors in the United States with growth rates in organic food sales averaging 17 percent per year between 1998 and 2006. The largest segment within the organic market is fresh produce, comprising 34 percent of retail sales in 2006. To date, few published studies utilize consumer purchase information to understand which demographic factors influence the purchase of organic produce. This analysis focuses on household produce purchases in 2006 from the Nielsen Homescan Dataset. Assuming that household produce purchases are made in a two step process, a Heckman two-stage model is utilized to examine the factors that influence the probability a consumer will buy organic produce, and which factors influence the household share of organic produce purchased. Results show households with high levels of education and income are more likely to purchase organic pre-packaged produce, while the probability of purchasing organic fruits and vegetables decreases amongst African Americans.

Suggested Citation

  • Dettmann, Rachael L., 2008. "Organic Produce: Who's Eating it? A Demographic Profile of Organic Produce Consumers," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6446, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea08:6446
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gary D. Thompson & Julia Kidwell, 1998. "Explaining the Choice of Organic Produce: Cosmetic Defects, Prices, and Consumer Preferences," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(2), pages 277-287.
    2. Wang, Qingbin & Sun, Junjie, 2003. "Consumer Preference And Demand For Organic Food: Evidence From A Vermont Survey," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 22080, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    3. Thompson, Gary D. & Glaser, Lewrene K., 2001. "National Demand For Organic And Conventional Baby Food," 2001 Annual Meeting, July 8-11, 2001, Logan, Utah 36139, Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    4. Loureiro, Maria L. & Hine, Susan E., 2001. "Discovering Niche Markets: A Comparison Of Consumer Willingness To Pay For A Local (Colorado Grown), Organic, And Gmo-Free Product," 2001 Annual meeting, August 5-8, Chicago, IL 20630, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    5. Rodolfo Hoffmann & Ana Lucia Kassouf, 2005. "Deriving conditional and unconditional marginal effects in log earnings equations estimated by Heckman's procedure," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(11), pages 1303-1311.
    6. Loureiro, Maria L. & McCluskey, Jill J. & Mittelhammer, Ronald C., 2001. "Assessing Consumer Preferences For Organic, Eco-Labeled, And Regular Apples," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 26(02), December.
    7. Govindasamy, Ramu & DeCongelio, Marc & Italia, John & Barbour, Bruce & Anderson, Karen, 2001. "Empirically Evaluating Consumer Characteristics and Satisfaction with Organic Products," P Series 36736, Rutgers University, Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics.
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    Keywords

    Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety;

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