Urban Household Demand for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables in Thailand (in English)
Rattiya Suddeephong Lippe, Holger Seebens, and Somporn Isvilanonda
Food systems are undergoing profound changes in developing countries, particularly on fresh produce with specific quality and safety attributes. An understanding of the demand patterns and their underlying determinants are important in designing food policies and generating information for local supply actors. The disaggregate demand parameters for fresh fruits & vegetables that have different product and process attributes were estimated by using the two-stage budgeting framework. The methodology accounted for censored data. The analysis is based on cross-sectional data of 300 households in Bangkok and 200 households in urban areas of Chiang Mai in 2007. The trend in domestic demand for fresh fruits & vegetables is towards an emphasis on safety, quality and convenience. Economic development, along with higher household incomes and educational levels of consumers, contribute to this tendency. Households are becoming more price responsive to fresh produce from modern supply chain sectors. The entire food sector should adapt to changes in consumers’ preferences. Traditional retailers should create customer trust by adopting safety and quality standards and upgrading the quality attributes of fresh produce. Modern retailers should sustain own reputation and improve product lines by adopting premium standards. Policies and programs that foster income growth along with better education will spur demand for better quality products and lead to diversification in diets. The government should encourage the development and adoption of credible standards and product and process certification schemes. An information campaign to educate consumers on food safety and quality would expand the market for fresh produce and benefit farmers.
Keywords: fruit, vegetable, demand elasticity, food safety, almost ideal demand system
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