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Marketing U.S. Organic Foods: Recent Trends From Farms to Consumers


  • Dimitri, Carolyn
  • Oberholtzer, Lydia


Organic foods now occupy prominent shelf space in the produce and dairy aisles of most mainstream U.S. food retailers. The marketing boom has pushed retail sales of organic foods up to $21.1 billion in 2008 from $3.6 billion in 1997. U.S. organic-industry growth is evident in an expanding number of retailers selling a wider variety of foods, the development of private- label product lines by many supermarkets, and the widespread introduction of new products. A broader range of consumers has been buying more varieties of organic food. Organic handlers, who purchase products from farmers and often supply them to retailers, sell more organic products to conventional retailers and club stores than ever before. Only one segment has not kept pace—organic farms have struggled at times to produce sufficient supply to keep up with the rapid growth in demand, leading to periodic shortages of organic products.

Suggested Citation

  • Dimitri, Carolyn & Oberholtzer, Lydia, 2009. "Marketing U.S. Organic Foods: Recent Trends From Farms to Consumers," Economic Information Bulletin 58615, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uersib:58615

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nord, Mark & Andrews, Margaret S. & Carlson, Steven, 2002. "Household Food Security In The United States, 2001," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33865, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nemati, Mehdi & Saghaian, Sayed H., 2016. "Dynamics of Price Adjustment in Qualitatively Differentiated Markets in the U.S.: The Case of Organic and Conventional Apples," 2016 Annual Meeting, February 6-9, 2016, San Antonio, Texas 229950, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    2. Jones, Ghangela L. & Rusiana, Hofner D. & Escalante, Cesar L., 2014. "Do Farm Lenders’ Attitudes and Risk Assessment Models Encourage Organic Farms’ Debt Aversion?," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 169754, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Zhuang, Yan & Dimitri, Carolyn & Jaenicke, Edward C., 2010. "Price Reactions And Organic Price Premiums For Private Label And Branded Milk," 115th Joint EAAE/AAEA Seminar, September 15-17, 2010, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany 116388, European Association of Agricultural Economists;Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. Uematsu, Hiroki & Mishra, Ashok K., 2012. "Organic farmers or conventional farmers: Where's the money?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 55-62.
    5. Su, Ye & Cook, Michael L., 2014. "Price Sustainability and Stability – An Achievable Goal? A Case Study of Organic Valley," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 174399, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Schroeter Christiane & Cai Xiaowei, 2012. "The Impact of Food Environment on Private Label versus Branded Produce Choice," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-23, November.


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