Food Science and Technology Department


First Advisor

Dr. Devin Rose

Second Advisor

Dr. Christopher Gustafson

Date of this Version

Summer 7-30-2020


Arslain, K.B. 2020. Consumer Attitudes, Knowledge, and Behavior: Understanding Gluten Avoidance and Point-of-Decision Prompts to Increase Fiber Consumption (2020). MS Thesis, Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College of the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Food Science and Technology, Under the Supervision of Professors Devin J. Rose and Christopher R. Gustafson. Lincoln, Nebraska: July, 2020

Copyright 2020 Kristina Arslain


Understanding consumer food behavior is important for creating effective health programs and policies that address obesity. In this thesis, two topics of consumer food behavior are explored: understanding gluten avoidance and the use of point-of-decision prompts (PDP) to increase the purchase of healthier food choices. In this first topic, nationally representative data was collected on people’s gluten-free (GF) experience and perceptions. It was found that people were more likely to avoid gluten if they believed the (GF) diet was healthier than a gluten-containing diet and if they were recommended to try the diet. The second topic studies the influence of a PDP, about the health benefits of fiber consumption, on consumer cereal, bread, and cracker shopping choices. The fiber PDP was first studied to see if it could influence consumers to purchase products with a greater fiber density. It was found that consumers who viewed the PDP before making food choices selected products that had a greater amount of fiber per serving. Next, the PDP was studied to determine how it promoted such behavior. It was found that the PDP influenced consumers to either consider all product options or to limit their choices to the healthier options. It was also found that consumers were more likely to consider the fiber content of choices if they saw the PDP before making choices. Together, this thesis adds insight to current consumer food behavior literature.

Advisors: Devin J. Rose and Christopher R. Gustafson

Included in

Food Science Commons