Consumer preferences for product origin and processing scale: The case of organic baby foods

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The process of defining these attributes becomes complex when agricultural products undergo some processing. Canned vegetables or soymilk can be manufactured locally, but some of the ingredients may need to be sourced from elsewhere, particularly organic ingredients that are facing shortage in supply. The current market structure encompasses players of widely varying sizes. In the overall baby food market in North America, Gerber dominates with a share of over 80%. Other large food companies, including General Mills and Heinz, offer their own organic products. Consumer studies on baby food have been limited. Several studies focused on estimating an organic price premium using hedonic pricing analysis, while others have estimated demand systems to examine aggregate demand for baby food products. The origin of ingredients focused on domestic or imported status. The scale of manufacturing companies was proxied by stylized brands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)590-596
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Agricultural Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Hikaru Hanawa Peterson is an associate professor and Xianghong Li is a research assistant professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University. We gratefully acknowledge Franck Lonca for his research assistance. This work was supported by the National Research Initiative of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant #2007-04505. This article was presented in an invited-paper session at the 2010 annual meeting of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in Denver, CO. The articles in these sessions are not subjected to the journal’s standard refereeing process.


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