Information and consumer perception of the “organic” attribute in fresh fruits and vegetables


  • Sinne Smed

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 25, 1958 Frederiksberg, Denmark
      Tel.: +45 35 33 68 49; fax: +45 35 33 68 01. E-mail address: (S. Smed).
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Tel.: +45 35 33 68 49; fax: +45 35 33 68 01. E-mail address: (S. Smed).


Using a double hurdle model on panel data from 3,200 Danish households (monthly observations for 2002–2007), we study the effects of health-related media information on the demand for organic fruit and vegetables. We find that “negative” information about pesticides contained in conventional fruit and vegetables mainly influences the probability of a consumer entering the organic market, not the quantities consumed by households that are already active on the organic market. “Positive” information that links health and the consumption of organic food influences both steps of the decision process. Our dataset includes information about consumers’ media habits, which allows us to disentangle the direct effects of media information from the indirect effects of this information as it is disseminated through the population. Our results suggest that directly obtained information is the main type of information influencing consumers, while information loadings by dissemination through the population have almost no effect on consumption.