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Title:Influence of seasoning and preparation of vegetables on consumer choice, consumption, and liking
Author(s):Manero, Joanna
Advisor(s):Chapman-Novakofski, Karen
Contributor(s):Ellison, Brenna; Nickols-Richardson, Shelly; Khan, Naiman
Department / Program:Nutritional Sciences
Discipline:Nutritional Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
herbs and spices
Abstract:Introduction: Americans are spending more money dining out than in grocery stores and vegetable intake continues to be low; it is important to evaluate variables likely to impact vegetable consumption which may translate to increased sales in a food service establishment. This study’s objective was to determine what variables had an impact on vegetable sales, selection, and consumption. In particular, how different vegetable preparations, including the use of herbs and spices, can impact people’s vegetable intake. Methods: To evaluate the objectives, a preliminary analysis of vegetable sales was run on a university cafeteria. Sales information was extracted from Micros 3700. Then, we conducted a 3-week cafeteria study where seasoned and unseasoned vegetables were offered at no cost with the purchase of an entrée. A survey that assessed attitudes towards the vegetable that was selected was administered to café customers, and vegetable waste was collected in aggregate. Finally, a cross-sectional survey design was used to design an online survey. This survey was validated using cognitive interviews and delivered through Qualtrics LLC. All statistical analysis was run on SPSS 24. Results: In the café, eleven different vegetables were offered, four of which had two or more preparations, and were offered at a regular ($0.75) and premium price point ($1). Vegetable sales ranged from 5 to 66 servings/day. Roasted preparation was a significant predictor of vegetable sales (β=.277, R²=.08, P<.001). Furthermore, increasing the price from $0.75 to $1 did not decrease vegetable sales. Selection was greater for seasoned vs unseasoned, n = 335 vs. 143 for all 3 vegetables combined; n = 97 vs 47 for carrots; n = 114 vs. 55 for broccoli; n = 124 vs. 41 for green beans (p < 0.001 Chi-Square). Liking responses were similar for seasoned vs unseasoned and were high for all vegetables. Regression analysis revealed that consumers who did not often select a vegetable with lunch while dining out were 1.59 times more likely to select the seasoned vegetables (p = 0.007). The majority of participants seasoned their vegetables with herbs and spices (>50% at 75% or at 100% of the time). Use of herbs and spices was higher in respondents who were younger (β=-0.018, p<0.001), reported high intake of non-starchy vegetables (β=0.137, p<0.001), were Asians or Pacific Islanders (β=0.352, p=0.031), and had more positive attitudes about herbs and spices (β=0.265, p<0.002). Conclusions: The analyses revealed that roasted preparation can positively influence vegetable sales, it also revealed that a $0.25 increase in price point did not lower vegetable sales. Given a choice, consumers were more likely to select a seasoned vegetable. With low vegetable consumption as a predictor of seasoned vegetable choice, offering seasoned vegetables may increase intake in those with poor vegetable intake in a café setting. Further, using herbs and spices in vegetable preparation appeared to be a common practice; the highest rated attitude towards the practice was enhancing taste of vegetables.
Issue Date:2018-04-26
Rights Information:©2018 Joanna Manero
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-09-04
Date Deposited:2018-05

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