Who's buying organic vegetables? Demographic characteristics of U.S. consumers

Rachael L. Dettmann, Carolyn Dimitri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The organic food market is currently the fastest growing food sector in the United States, with growth rates in organic food sales averaging 17% per year between 1998 and 2006. The largest segment within the organic market is fresh produce, comprising 34% percent of retail sales in 2006. This analysis focuses on identifying the demographic characteristics of households buying organic vegetables (in total) along with prepackaged organic salads and organic carrots, by examining the factors that influence the probability that a consumer will buy organic vegetables, and which factors influence the household share of organic vegetables purchased. We use Nielsen Homescan data for the year 2004. Households with high levels of education are more likely to purchase organic vegetables, while the probability of purchasing organic vegetables is lower for African Americans and for older households.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-91
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Food Products Marketing
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Demographic profile of organic consumer
  • Heckman model
  • Nielsen Homescan data
  • Organic carrots
  • Organic consumption
  • Organic salad
  • Organic vegetables

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Marketing
  • Business and International Management


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