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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Sugarbeet and Potato Research » Research » Research Project #439204

Research Project: National Consumer Survey of Pulse Consumption and Views

Location: Sugarbeet and Potato Research

Project Number: 3060-21650-001-31-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2020
End Date: Feb 28, 2023

Objective:
1. Identify national-level adult consumer knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) regarding pulse crops, barriers and motivators to their use, general interest in plant-based protein, and the influence of environmental sustainability on food purchases. 2. Identify similar data from a second adult sample, aged 18+ and low income (less than 130% of the federal poverty level) and collect additional information (where applicable) regarding respondents’ experiences with pulses in terms of food assistance programs (e.g., Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, WIC) and food pantries.

Approach:
We will use standard methodologies to develop and validate a comprehensive national survey through the following four tasks: A. Review literature on previous pulse consumer studies; B. Draft survey, obtain cognitive evaluation, and conduct small pilot test; C. Solicit content analysis from experts in the field; and D. Pilot test survey through Iowa State University Center for Survey Statistics and Methodology (CSSM). After adjustments, the survey will be pilot tested with 100 individuals through the CSSM and an external service (Dynata, Shelton, CT). This process helps to ensure that questions (1) are answerable by the sample population and (2) will provide information necessary to address the project goals and hypotheses. For data collection in the main study, a sample size of 2,000 completed surveys for the general populace (aged 18+) is desired. A second adult sample, aged 18+ and low income (less than 130% of the federal poverty level) will be collected in the same timeframe. Survey data collection will be used to explore consumer knowledge, attitudes, and preferences for pulses, and views on sustainability and plant-based protein foods. Using the survey findings, we will describe findings and explore market segments by clustering participants based on consumption patterns and pulse preferences. We will also utilize exploratory factor analysis to identify latent factors that are likely to drive a consumer’s decision to choose pulses, and/or adopt a plant-based diet. Survey data will be weighted as needed to standardize age, education, gender, race/ethnicity, and geographic region distributions. Survey weights for key variables will be calculated as the ratio of each relevant population proportion to the known sample proportion.