O Papel dos Preços e do Dispêndio no Consumo de Alimentos Orgânicos e Convencionais no Brasil

Abstract: This article seeks to analyze the demand’s sensibility for organic food and their conventional counterparts to variations in prices and expenditure in Brazilian households. We estimated an aggregate demand system for 14 categories (seven organics and seven conventional) using the QUAIDS model with correction for the Zero Consumption Problem by the Shonkwiller and Yen two-step estimation method. The database was from the microdata from the Brazilian Household Budget Survey (POF/IBGE) 2008/2009. Results showed that Brazilian consumers are more sensitive to variations in prices and expenditure of organic than conventional food. Moreover, there is asymmetry in substitution/complementarity relations between the two types of food. These results suggest that it is relatively difficult to induce consumers that are used to purchase organic products to “revert” their spending habits changing organic products to conventional ones. Furthermore, results showed that consumers do not view organic food as a substitute for conventional food in most cases. Examining the expenditure elasticities, we conclude that organic foods can be classified as luxury goods.