Andrea Carlson

Andrea Carlson



Andrea (Andi) Carlson is an economist in the Food Markets Branch of the Food Economics Division in USDA’s Economic Research Service. She researches gateways and barriers to consumers’ ability to choose and purchase healthy diets, and organic retail markets. She is the project lead for the Purchase to Plate Suite, which allows users to import USDA nutrient and food composition data into retail food scanner data acquired by USDA, and estimate individual food prices for dietary intake data. Her research interests include the affordability of healthy diets, tracking consumption over time, and examining organic food purchases and price premiums. Carlson joined ERS after 9 years with USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP), where she was the project leader for the USDA Food Plans, CNPP Food Prices Database, and a major contributor to the Cost of Raising a Child program. Before joining USDA, she was a Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) Prevention Effectiveness (PE) Fellow in the Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Andi received the Secretary's Award for developing and implementing USDA's Food Patterns (Choose MyPlate, formerly MyPyramid) and the Under Secretary’s award for developing the Purchase to Plate Suite of products.


Andi received her Ph.D. in Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Minnesota (1999), M.S. in International Development and Appropriate Technology from the University of Pennsylvania (1992), and B.A. in Physics from St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota (1988).

Selected Publications

Carlson, Andrea C., Carina E. Tornow, Elina T. Page, Amber Brown McFadden, and Thea Palmer Zimmerman. 2022. "Development of the Purchase to Plate Crosswalk and Price Tool: Estimating Prices for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) Foods and Measuring the Healthfulness of Retail Food Purchases," Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 106:104344. doi: 10.1016/j.jfca.2021.104344

Badruddoza, Syed, Andrea C. Carlson, and Jill J. McCluskey. 2022. “Long‐Term Dynamics of U.S. Organic Milk, Eggs, and Yogurt Premiums,” Agribusiness 38 (1):45-72.

Armen Ghazaryan, Andrea Carlson, Alana Rhone, Kakoli Roy. 2021. “Association Between the Nutritional Quality of Household At-Home Food Purchases and Chronic Diseases and Risk Factors in the United States,” Nutrients 13 (9)

Carlson, Andrea C., Kevin Kuczynski, TusaRebecca Pannucci, Kristin Koegel, Elina T. Page, Carina E. Tornow, and Thea Palmer Zimmerman. 2020. Estimating Prices for Foods in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey: The Purchase to Plate Price Tool, TB-1955, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Stewart, H., J. Hyman, D. Dong and A. Carlson (2020). "The more that households prioritize healthy eating, the better they can afford to consume a sufficient quantity and variety of fruits and vegetables," Public Health Nutrition: 1-10.

Carlson, Andrea. Elina T. Page, Thea Palmer Zimmerman, Carina E. Tornow, and Sigurd Hermansen, 2019. Linking USDA Nutrition Databases to IRI Household-Based and Store-Based Scanner Data, TB-1952, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, March, 42 pp.

Carlson, Andrea and Edward Jaenicke, 2016, Changes in Retail Organic Price Premiums from 2004 to 2010, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, May, 44 pages + on-line appendix of regression results.

Jaenicke, E.C., and A.C. Carlson. 2015. "Estimating and Investigating Organic Premiums for Retail-Level Food Products," Agribusiness 31(4):453-471.

Carlson, A., and E. Frazão. 2014. "Food Costs, Diet Quality and Energy Balance in the U.S.," Physiology and Behavior 134:20-13.

Carlson, A., and E. Frazão. 2012. Are Healthy Foods Really More Expensive? It Depends on How You Measure the Price, EIB-96, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, May.

Lino, M., and A. Carlson. 2010. "Estimating Housing Expenses on Children: A Comparison of Methodologies," Journal of Legal Economics 16(2):61-79.

Carlson, A., M. Lino, and T. Fungwe. 2007. The Low-Cost, Moderate-Cost, and Liberal Food Plans, CNPP-20, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, November.

Carlson, A., M. Lino, W. Juan, K. Hanson, and P.P. Basiotis. 2007. Thrifty Food Plan, 2006, CNPP-19, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, April.

Foote, J.A., S.P. Murphy, L.R. Wilkens, P.P. Basiotis, and A. Carlson. 2004. "Dietary Variety Increases the Probability of Nutrient Adequacy Among Adults," Journal of Nutrition 134(7):1779-1785.

Carlson, A., and B. Senauer. 2003. "The Impact of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) on Child Health," American Journal of Agricultural Economics 85(2):479-91.