AbstractThis report relates sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas Poir.) purchases to the characteristics of the homemaker. The analysis does not obtain parameter estimates of the consumption function for sweet potatoes. Rather, it formulates a series of hypotheses for testing that are suggested by economic theory. A multivariate analysis was applied to the data obtained from a consumer survey regarding purchase of sweet potatoes. The results of this study strongly support the gatekeeper theory in household food consumption. Namely, it was found that the consumer purchases of sweet potatoes were significantly related to the specific characteristics of the homemaker and not those of the household. This study supports the premise that for better understanding of food purchase behavior further inquiry should focus on the role of the homemaker as the primary decision-maker. Findings reveal implications for the sweet potato industry: promotional efforts should be directed towards the young homemaker, emphasizing ease and quickness of preparation.
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