The influence of surroundings on organic food sales

A spatial analysis of the relationship between sociodemographics, the physical neighborhood, attitudes & organic food sales

Past event — 22 April 2020

Kühne Logistics University
Grosser Grasbrook 17, 20457 Hamburg, Room Online

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Sarah Joseph, PhD

Post-doctoral Researcher

Kühne Logistics University GmbH

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The organic food market has been steadily growing globally in the last 20 years. Various stakeholders – government, retailers, society – have an interest in continuing to increase the share of organic products, especially in relation to food security of the future, environmental sustainability and climate change. To better understand what drives organic food sales, and ultimately how to further promote it for interested stakeholders, we analyze the spatial relationship between organic food sales (both from organic and conventional retailers), the physical neighborhood, and neighborhood inhabitants (including attitudes) over the last 20 years in Hamburg, Germany (1999-2019). Data sources include purchased data, data from statistical databases and reports, and data from the literature. We use ArcGIS Pro to spatially illustrate sales for the 99 different neighborhoods in Hamburg. We then develop a model to analyze the relationship between the sociodemographics of residents, physical neighborhood features (such as density, connectivity, land use), attitudes, and organic food sales. Our expected result is a calibrated model to better understand the development of organic sales in Hamburg over time. Additionally, results provide evidence of who may have the largest influence in increasing organic sales, whether it be consumers (attitude), city planners (physical neighborhood planning), policy (income and prices) and companies (through targeted marketing).


Sarah Joseph is a PhD candidate in the field of Sustainable Food Systems at the Kühne Logistics University under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Hanno Friedrich since July 2017. She received her Master of Science in Resource Efficiency in Architecture and Urban Planning from the HafenCity University in Hamburg. Sarah’s Master Thesis entitled “Can Regional Organic Agriculture Feed the Regional Community: A Case Study for Hamburg and North Germany” examined the potential for Hamburg and the surrounding areas to feed citizens based on a diet produced solely organically and regionally in regards to agricultural land requirements. She plans to continue focusing on the topic of sustainable resource use, further examining the life cycle and distribution of products within the global food system.


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Birgit Kappert

Program Manager