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Abstract

This is a report of a customer intercept survey of customers in seven central Ohio grocery stores. Six were conventional stores of a national grocery chain (Traditional Grocery); of these, two were suburban , two were city central, and two were in predominately rural locations. The seventh store was a health/whole foods store (Specialty Grocery). The survey addressed customer willingness to pay for alternative levels of organic content in breakfast cereals, customer purchase patterns for organic foods, and customer opinions about the benefits of organic and other food characteristics. Forty-two percent of traditional grocery shoppers reported purchases of organic foods, the majority purchasing at least twice monthly. Shoppers in the specialty grocery were much more likely to purchase organic foods (92 percent). Consumers indicated a willingness to pay higher prices for processed foods with organic content. This willingness to pay varied with income and demographic characteristics of the households. Specialty grocery shoppers were more likely to purchase organic foods than their traditional grocery counterparts, and had a greater willingness to pay for these products.

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