Demand for organic food in Switzerland

Götze, Franziska (2019). Demand for organic food in Switzerland (Dissertation, Universität Bonn, Landwirtschaftliche Fakultät, Institut für Lebensmittel- und Ressourcenökonomik)

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The aim of this dissertation is to better understand the functioning of the organic food market in Switzerland. Over the last three decades the market for organic food in Switzerland has developed positively and continues to grow steadily. Understanding what drives and hinders consumption is crucial for those producing and marketing organic food as well as for agricultural policy makers. This dissertation sheds light on the demand for organic food for the years 2006 to 2011 from different perspectives and identifies factors affecting purchase decisions. In the second chapter, product characteristics that are of importance to organic food consumers are identified. Accordingly, unprocessed products that have been produced in Switzerland have an advantage on the market. It is also shown that the price is an important criterion since consumers compare organic food with their conventional counterpart rather than with other organic alternatives. The third chapter investigates the connection between culture and organic food consumption. This relationship was thus far addressed by comparing linguistic groups from different countries with one another. By comparing language groups of the same country within the framework of this dissertation, the influence of culture can be assessed more accurately than has been done in previous studies as large institutional differences do not apply. Some of the socio-demographic influencing factors that have already been identified in the past can be confirmed. The influence of culture is, however, the largest. Hence, a Röstigraben between German- and French-speaking Switzerland regarding organic food exists. The final chapter of this dissertation explores the effect of income and prices on organic food consumption. Thereby, different approaches for the estimation of demand elasticities are compared. As demand elasticities are an important part of computable equilibrium models used to predict the impact of agricultural policies, the methodology for the elasticity estimation must be chosen with care. To investigate the influence of the methodological approach on the outcome of the elasticity estimation, five versions of the Almost Ideal Demand System (AIDS) are compared. The study reveals a shortcoming of the widely-used consistent two-step estimation of the quadratic AIDS (QUAIDS) model and the approach of Shonkwiler and Yen (1999): the non-fulfilment of the homogeneity of the elasticities. Hence, the two-step estimation procedure does not comply with the initially imposed conditions of demand theory. The non-fulfilment is addressed by reformulating the QUAIDS model. This refined model does not fully comply with the conditions of demand theory but is the so far best possible solution when the approach of Shonkwiler and Yen (1999) and the QUAIDS model are combined.

Item Type:

Doctoral Thesis (Dissertation)


School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL > Consumer-focused Food Production


Götze, Franziska0000-0001-9022-0880


H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)


Landwirtschaftliche Fakultät der Universität Bonn




Franziska Götze

Date Deposited:

12 Jan 2020 19:51

Last Modified:

18 Dec 2020 13:29

Uncontrolled Keywords:

consumer behaviour, demand analysis, organic food, Switzerland




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