New market opportunities and consumer heterogeneity in the U.S. organic food market

Gwan Seon Kim, Jun Ho Seok, Tyler B. Mark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This paper investigates what factors and characteristics of organic consumers affect annual organic food expenditure by using Nielsen's consumer panel dataset from 2010 to 2014. To be specific, this paper explores new marketing opportunities by investigating organic consumer heterogeneity in different household income levels by utilizing the multilevel model. Findings in this study will contribute to the previous and existing literature in three-folds. First, we find that the organic consumers are more heterogeneous in the high-level of income groups (approximately above $60,000), as well as the low-income households between $35,000 and $45,000. This finding demonstrates that the income levels above $60,000 and around $40,000 have potential market segmentation. Second, we find that that annual organic expenditure is positively associated with consumers who consecutively repurchase organic food products compared to irregular organic consumers, supporting a different level of satisfaction. Third, we find that USDA organic labeling has a positive effect on annual organic expenditure compared to the organic labeling certified by private companies, implying the importance of credibility for the organic labeling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3166
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 4 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors.


  • Multilevel model
  • Nielsen data
  • Organic food
  • Repurchase
  • USDA labeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'New market opportunities and consumer heterogeneity in the U.S. organic food market'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this