Publication Date

Spring 2020

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dominique Gumirakiza (Director), Stephen King, and Martin Stone

Degree Program

Department of Agriculture and Food Science

Degree Type

Master of Science


This study applies an Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) model to explain differences in the amount that online shoppers might spend per month on fresh produce, given specific consumer characteristics. It also uses a multinomial logit model to determine the relative probability of online shoppers spending more or less, given specific consumer characteristics. The independent variable of interest in both models is whether or not the respondent is a recipient of a government assistance food program. These analyses used data from a stratified random sample of 1,205 online shoppers residing in the southern region of the United States. “Online shoppers” in the context of this study are those consumers who have made at least two purchases online in the six months prior to participating in this study. Results in the OLS model indicate that those online shoppers who are locavores, have higher levels of interest in fresh produce, earn higher income than the average level of all respondents, and have higher levels of education in conjunction with an urban living lifestyle will spend more money on fresh produce per month. Results in the multinomial logit model indicate that those online shoppers are 12 percent likely to spend between $0 and $36 per month on fresh produce, compared to about 49 percent who will spend between $37-$97. It also showed those online shoppers that are locavores, caucasion, and citizens of the United States are more likely to spend more money on fresh produce. This study is important when growers and/or agricultural marketers of fresh produce are looking at which demographics to target the selling of their goods. Future researchers will find this study to be useful as well, in explaining specific consumer characteristics that shape purchasing behavior towards food related products.


Agribusiness | Agricultural and Resource Economics | Agricultural Economics