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Jay M. Lillywhite, Jennifer E. Simonsen and Mark E. Uchanski

Little data are publicly available about U.S. spicy pepper (Capsicum sp.) consumers and their type-specific preferences. This research adds to the body of knowledge surrounding the demand side of the U.S. spicy pepper market by providing exploratory data to examine U.S. consumer preferences as they relate to seven common spicy pepper types: cayenne (Capsicum annuum), habañero (Capsicum chinense), jalapeño (C. annuum), New Mexico-type long green and red (C. annuum), paprika (C. annuum), poblano/ancho (C. annuum), and serrano (C. annuum) peppers. Data were collected using an online panel survey of 1104 consumers. Results suggest that jalapeño peppers were the most popular fresh spicy pepper purchased by participating food consumers. Paprika powder, a relatively mild spicy pepper product, was the most widely-consumed dried or ground pepper of the seven studied. Women appear more likely to be non-likers of spicy foods than men (P ≤ 0.05). Responses of this survey group suggest that many consumers enjoy spicy peppers and that consumption varies by pepper type. Finally, the most popular pepper types do not necessarily appear to be the “hottest” or “mildest” of those available in the market.

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Jay M. Lillywhite, Jennifer E. Simonsen and Richard J. Heerema

The U.S. pecan (Carya illinoinensis) industry is important to the country in both economic and cultural terms. Although the industry has expanded its export markets considerably, domestic pecan consumption has remained relatively flat. Expanding a domestic market is an important risk management strategy. To diversify, industry stakeholders may need to focus effort on growing domestic demand for pecans and pecan products, yet relatively little is known about U.S. pecan consumers because the majority of available information is garnered from supply side (production) data. This study used a web-based panel survey of 1009 U.S. food consumers to explore the demographics of pecan consumers, gauge their current tree nut nutrition knowledge, and examine the preferences surrounding their pecan purchases. Almost three-quarters (74%) of survey respondents consume pecans; demographic differences were observed between respondents who consume pecans and those who do not. Respondents’ knowledge of general and tree nut nutrition concepts varied. Respondents most frequently purchase pecans from a grocery store, buy them shelled as a raw ingredient for baking/cooking, and consume pecans four to six times per year.