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Determinants of household choice of breakfast cereals: healthy or unhealthy?

  • Golub, Alla A.
  • Binkley, James K.

We studied consumer demand for more and less healthy breakfast cereals. Using ACNielsen Homescan database and USDA food nutrition data, we developed three cereal nutrition indexes for each household in the data. In addition to the standard demographic characteristics of households and prices, we included variables representing differences between private labels and national brands. We found that the structure of the industry, through its effect on the product mix produced, affects consumer choice of nutritious foods. Some households buy fewer healthy cereals simply through reluctance to trust private labels. Among all factors expected to influence consumer purchases, the prices appear to have the strongest effect on the healthiness of the choice of breakfast cereals, which is a relatively inexpensive product. Households with children and teens buy less healthy cereals, while older and more educated households make healthier choices.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/19181
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Paper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI with number 19181.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea05:19181
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  1. Ivar Ekeland & James J. Heckman & Lars Nesheim, 2002. "Identifying Hedonic Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 304-309, May.
  2. Mojduszka, Eliza M. & Everett, Rachel M., 2003. "Endogenous Consumer Preferences And Knowledge About Nutrition," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 22074, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  3. Reimer Jeffrey J, 2004. "Market Conduct in the U.S. Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-29, November.
  4. Price, Gregory K. & Connor, John M., 2001. "Modeling Coupon Values for Ready-To-Eat Breakfast Cereals," Research Reports 148374, University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center.
  5. John D. Jackson, 1997. "Effects of Health Information and Generic Advertising on U.S. Meat Demand," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(1), pages 13-23.
  6. Stanley, Linda R & Tschirhart, John, 1991. "Hedonic Prices for a Nondurable Good: The Case of Breakfast Cereals," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(3), pages 537-41, August.
  7. Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
  8. Moulton, Brent R & Randolph, William C, 1989. "Alternative Tests of the Error Components Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 685-93, May.
  9. John M. Connor, 1999. "Breakfast cereals: The extreme food industry," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(2), pages 247-259.
  10. Shi, Hongqi & Price, David W., 1998. "Impacts Of Sociodemographic Variables On The Implicit Values Of Breakfast Cereal Characteristics," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 23(01), July.
  11. Morgan, Karen J & Metzen, Edward J & Johnson, S R, 1979. " An Hedonic Index for Breakfast Cereals," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(1), pages 67-75, June.
  12. Kinnucan, Henry W. & Chang, Hui-Shung (Christie) & Venkateswaran, Meenakshi, 1993. "Generic Advertising Wearout," Review of Marketing and Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 61(03), December.
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