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Not everybody prefers organic food: unobserved heterogeneity in U.S. consumers’ preference for organic apple and milk

Seon-Woong Kim, B Brorsen and Jayson Lusk ()

Applied Economics Letters, 2018, vol. 25, issue 1, 9-14

Abstract: Despite organic food’s growing market share and the often-found premiums for organic foods in willingness-to-pay studies, the ultimate size of the organic food market remains unclear. Due to perceived taste, safety or appearance, some people may, in fact, not prefer organic. This study uses data from choice experiments to determine preference for organic versus conventional milk and apples. Using latent class and random parameter models, nontrivial shares (at least 33%) of consumers in both markets are not willing to pay a premium for organic. These results have implications for food marketers but also for economists modelling the organic food sector, which typically assume vertical differentiation.

Date: 2018
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