Investigating consumer preference for organic, Local, or sustainable plants

Chengyan Yue, Jennifer H. Dennism, Bridget K. Behe, Charles R. Hall, Benjamin L. Campbell, Roberto G. Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Organically and locally grown food products have become increasingly popular n recent years. However, unlike food products, consumers purchase most outdoor plants or their aesthetic value rather than their nutritional value. Many of the health concerns elated to food products might not be applicable to ornamental plants, so the demand for organic non-food plants is unknown. Using a survey with 834 participants from four states, we investigated consumer preference for ornamentals, vegetable transplants, and herbs grown: 1) organically, locally, and sustainably; 2) in energy-efficient greenhouses; and 3) in biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable containers. Our study found that consumers are not enthusiastic about plants or their fertilizers being ''organic.'' However, consumers are very interested in plants being produced locally, similar to the public's everincreasing interest in local food products. Consumers are also interested in purchasing plants in containers that are more sustainable. Among the different types of containers, biodegradable and compostable pots are more desirable than recycled pots.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)610-615
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Biodegradable pots
  • Compost pots
  • Ecofriendly
  • Energy-efficient
  • Recycled pots


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