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We seek build a better understanding of how consumer preferences matter for food systems researchers and practitioners. First, we will introduce key principles of consumer demand, including an underlying theoretical framework and empirical approaches used to understand consumer preferences. Then, we will share results from our team’s systematic, multi-year effort to model the preferences of African consumers. We examine how consumer preferences govern the impacts of changing food prices and consumer incomes on consumer demand. Next, we will examine the implications of consumer preferences for efforts to improve diet quality through food systems interventions, focusing on examples of common interventions. In breakout sessions, participants will apply consumer preference concepts to their own projects. We will conclude with additional discussion, a review of high-level concepts, and sharing of resources for participants who wish to continue learning about consumer preferences.
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