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Abstract

The U.S. organic food sector is rapidly increasing in the past decades and the organic food marketing has thus draw substantial research interests. However, the retailing sector, despite its key role in organic food marketing, is largely left out of current discussion. In this article, we aim to bring the retailing context back in organic food marketing research by examining whether consumer preference for organic food can affect choice of retailing format with Nielsen Homescan data in California. Our main findings are that regular organic user households are more likely to patronage organic specialty store and discount store whereas less likely to shop in warehouse club and the residual formats comprised of convenience store, dollar store and drugstore. Price, consumer loyalty and household shopping behavior also have the expected effects on household retail format choice. This finding has strong managerial implication for retailers and farmers. The current USDA programs in promoting organic agriculture can also be improved by accounting for organic retailing.

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