The Effect of Social Identity on Food Choice
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Previous research indicates that various factors influence food choice, such as health concerns, animal welfare, sensory appeal, food neophobia, and price. This thesis explores the effects of social identities on food choice. Hypotheses include that gender/political orientation/health-consciousness has effects on food choice. This thesis uses an online survey to collect data on Canadians. I run a hypothetical discrete choice experiment with four scenarios, and respondents are asked to choose a main dish and a side dish in each scenario. The methodology separates respondents’ choices into the main dish choice model and the side dish choice model. The main dish choice uses the multinomial logit model (MNL), while the side dish choice model selects the binary logit model. The MNL model analyzes factors that influence choices of vegetarian protein and meat products. Findings show that women and liberals are more likely to choose vegetarian proteins, while men prefer meat products. The binary logit model analyzes the determinants of choosing healthy foods. The results show that women and high-educated or health-conscious people are more likely to choose healthy foods. The main and side dish choice models reveal that when food is recommended by the dining companion, people are more likely to choose it. However, the recommendation from the dining companion who has the same/different social identities as others has the same effects on food choice. Therefore, this thesis finds the food choice motivations for different food products.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentAgricultural and Resource Economics
SupervisorSlade, Peter; Michler, Jeffrey D.
CommitteeYang, Yang; Lloyd-Smith, Patrick
Copyright DateOctober 2020