What are the important determinants of consumer demand and how have they been changing over the last decade? Understanding these factors is crucial for evaluating the benefits and costs of government regulations, such as labeling, intended to influence consumer food choice and, ultimately, public health; for assessing the competitiveness of U.S. agricultral producers and food processors as they choose product designs and marketing strategies; and for assessing the impact of changing consumer demand for food on the agricultural and food sectors of the U.S. economy. The objectives of this paper are to make a significant contribution to demand analysis by basing this understanding on the use of uniquely comprehensive data sets and theoretical/modeling techniques that evaluate demand on the brand level; and to build a comprehensive understanding of the relative importance of different determinants of consumer food choices in the decade from 1993-2002. The overall goal is to analyze what is driving consumer choices and the implications of these drivers for food and nutrition policy in the United States. A particular focus is the relative importance of advertising, other company marketing strategies, nutritional quality, privately and publicly provided nutritional information, and consumer dietary concerns and knowledge in determining consumer demand for food products.


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