Consumer Demand for Food Variety

Christoph R. Weiss

in The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Food Consumption and Policy

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199569441
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Economics

 Consumer Demand for Food Variety

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  • Economics
  • Microeconomics
  • Agricultural, Environmental, and Natural Resource Economics


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This article briefly reviews the different theoretical approaches that are put forward to relate a preference for variety to an individual's purchasing and consumption behavior. This article reviews the existing empirical evidence on the demand for variety by discussing various ways to measure variety in food consumption. It focuses on preferences in explaining differences in individual behavior and introduces an additional approach to understanding consumers' demand for variety, which is based on the theory of household production. It summarizes a few stylized facts emanating from this literature on the impact of various demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of households and consumers on their demand for food variety. It finally addresses some issues that have been neglected in the economic analysis of the demand for food variety.

Keywords: theoretical approaches; consumption behavior; demand; consumers; food variety

Article.  13689 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Microeconomics ; Agricultural, Environmental, and Natural Resource Economics

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