Summary of Awards to Date

Improving the understanding of consumer stated preferences for food product.

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Jan. 10, 2009 - Sep. 30, 2013

Award Number


Funding Agency

Center for Produce Safety


Zhifeng Gao, Ph.D.
University of Florida


With the declining proportion of food expenditure relative to household income, more knowledge about the health benefit of food, increasing awareness of food-borne disease and more concerns about the environment, consumers are increasingly demanding foods that are assured to be healthier, safer, more palatable, and more environment or animal friendly. An accurate estimate of consumer preference and accurate prediction of consumer purchase behavior based on quality attributes is the premise to know what and how to satisfy consumers? demand for food quality. Wrong estimates of consumer preferences will lead to faulty or inefficient government policy and failed market strategy, which may result in economic loss to society, the food industry, production agriculture, and taxpayers. However, accurately estimating consumer preferences is difficult. This task is hindered by the complicated relationships among food quality attributes and the lack of standard research methods to truly reveal consumer preferences for product quality. This project will investigate the interactions between different types of food product attributes and explore the divergence in consumer preferences gained from different methods. The results will provide needed information to policy makers and industry who are interested in consumer preferences as well as benefit researches using those methods to study consumer preferences.