The Center for Food Demand Analysis and Sustainability (CFDAS) at Purdue tracks consumer insights and the economics of the food system to produce timely reports on trends and emerging topics. Our center brings data about consumers to farmers and information about farms to consumers.

The data we create, interpret and communicate will help producers, agribusinesses and policy makers make decisions that will improve the food system, as well as guide research on nutrition and plant innovations.

Consumers significantly influence the food system. By taking a closer look at their preferences and values about how and where their food was grown or made, we can help guide the decisions producers and retailers make.

Image of produce at the grocery store

There are immense opportunities to add value to food by better tailoring farm production to consumer demands. For every dollar of farm production, consumers spend about six dollars in food. Only 8.6% of disposable income is spent on food, and many consumers can afford to demand new attributes from the food system.

Changes in consumer demand and pressures to adopt sustainability metrics will more quickly and profoundly impact food processing and farming in the future.

The ability of agribusinesses and farmers to design, produce and deliver crops with specific attributes for consumer segments is emerging at a rapid pace, and data from the CFDAS will help researchers, growers and businesses understand what attributes are most important.

The center is a hub for timely, accessible data and insights across four primary categories.

  • Food prices
  • Food production and supply
  • Consumer food spending
  • Consumer preferences, attitudes, knowledge and beliefs

We create data by collecting it ourselves – most notably the Consumer Food Insights consumer tracking survey – and by combining existing public sources in innovative ways. Data from these sources are used to create dynamic, auto-updating dashboards and monthly reports communicating information from our consumer survey and social media listening efforts.

Our center is funded in part by Plant Sciences 2.0, one of the five strategic initiatives of Purdue’s Next Moves, and will serve as a resource to plant sciences research and the Digital Innovation in Agri-Food Systems Laboratory (DIAL). We partner with external industry and provide periodic research reports summarizing data and insights commissioned by these groups.

Are there specific things you would like to know about consumers?

Consider joining the CFDAS Consumer Insights consortium to add questions to our monthly survey or request additional custom analyses.

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