Renee Hughner

Renée Shaw Hughner is an Associate Professor of Agribusiness in the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Broadly, her research lies in the areas of food marketing as it relates to consumer behavior, health, nutrition, and education.

Her research has focused on understanding: consumer attitudes and the use of choice heuristics in the context of children’s food products; consumer attribution of locally grown and state-branded produce, and; the role of dietary interventions in the prevention of childhood obesity.

Current projects include research which examines the issue of alleviating the problem of access to healthy food in food deserts and consumers’ perceptions of various food labels (e.g., GMO, sugar sweetened beverage warnings). Hughner is involved in several project-based activities with students.

She serves as the student advisor for the Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) Career Pathways Program; the National Agri-marketing Association (NAMA) Student Marketing Competition, the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Formula 5 Marketing Competition, and the National Grocers Association (NGA) Collegiate Case Competition.

Hughner served as Chairwoman for the National Grocers Association (NGA) Food Industry University Committee (FIUC), a committee dedicated to building bridges between the independent food retailing sector and academia. She currently serves on the board of the Arizona Food & Drug Industry Education Foundation and is on the editorial board of the ​Journal of Macromarketing. Hughner​ enjoys teaching and interacting with students and, in 2014, was awarded the Huizingh Outstanding Undergraduate Service to Students Award.


Current research

  • Perception of Arizona Grown Medjool Dates, with Carola Grebitus. Working with data to identify consumer segments in the Medjool date market. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies.
  • Efficacy of Sugar Sweetened Beverage Labels, with Claudia Dumitrescu. Working on a project which looks at the impact of safety labeling on sugar sweetened beverages.
  • Arizona’s Native American Food Systems, with Ashok Mishra and Lauren Chenarides. Working on a project to identify gaps in Arizona’s Indigenous Food Systems (Native American reservations).


Student Activities

Faculty Advisor, PMA Career Pathways Program: Every year, Hughner accompanies students to the Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) annual “Fresh Summit” convention and Career Pathways Pack program. The goal of this program is to introduce students to the fresh produce industry. Among other activities, PMA pairs each student with an industry mentor. Students attend special programs and have numerous opportunities to network with industry professionals and executives.

Faculty Advisor, National Grocers Association (NGA) University Case Competition and Annual Show: The National Grocers Association (NGA) sponsors an annual collegiate case competition in conjunction with the annual NGA Show. Students develop an action plan to address a current food retailing issue. Students then present their case solution at the NGA Show. (National Grocers Association) Collegiate Case Competition. In 2015, Sun Devils took first place, in 2016, they placed second.

Faculty Advisor, PBH Formula 5 Competition: Every year the Produce for Better Health sponsors a marketing competition in which college students are challenged to develop a marketing plan for an agricultural product, specifically produce. Students get an up-close view of how the elements of marketing strategy work to deliver value to consumers. In 2016 and 2017, students won first place in the Produce for Better Health’s Formula 5 Marketing Competition, and in 2018, they placed fourth. In addition to receiving a trophy and award money, each student team was invited to attend PBH’s annual conference where they were treated to great food, entertaining speakers, and the opportunity to network with industry executives from leading produce companies.

Faculty Advisor, the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) Competition: The NAMA competition is a college-level marketing competition where student teams develop a marketing plan for a new agricultural product of their choice. Students spend a semester conducting market research, writing the marketing plan and developing a presentation. In developing their marketing plan, students follow the same practices and principles used by today’s marketing professionals. Teams submit a written plan summary prior to the competition and then make a formal presentation of their marketing plan to a panel of judges at the competition. Overall, approximately 30 student NAMA chapters from all over the country and Canada attend the conference and participate in the competition. The competition is part of the National Agri-Marketing Association’s annual conference and trade show. The marketing competition is a great learning tool for these students and provides them with some really good practical experience.



Dumitrescu C., R. Shaw Hughner and C. J. Shultz II (2016). Policy and Marketing Changes to Help Curb Childhood Obesity: Government Ban Vs. Industry Self-Regulation. ​International Journal of Consumer Studies,​ 40 (5), 519-526.

Dumitrescu, C., R. Shaw Hughner and C. J. Shultz II (2016). “Why Do Some Consumers Make Unhealthy Food Choices?” ​Journal of Food Product Marketing​, May 1-22.

Dumitrescu, C., R. Shaw Hughner and C. J. Shultz II (2018) “Examining Consumers’ Responses to Corporate Social Responsibility Addressing Childhood Obesity: The Mediating Role of Attributional Judgments,” ​Journal of Business Research​, Vol. 88, 132-140

Grebitus C., Peschel A.O., and R.S. Hughner (2018): Voluntary food labeling: The additive effect of “free from” labels and region of origin. In Press.​ Agribusiness: An International Journal.​ 2018;1–14. ​​.

Lacagnina, G., R. Shaw Hughner, C. Barroso, R. Hall and C. Wharton (2017) “Supply Chain Barriers to Healthy, Affordable Produce in Phoenix-Area Food Deserts,” ​Journal of Food Distribution Research​, November. Vol 48 (3) 1-15.

Nganje, W., R. Shaw Hughner and P. Patterson (2014) “Perception of Risks and Preferences for Locally Grown Produce: A Marketing System Approach,” ​Journal of Food Products Marketing​, Vol 20 (2) 196-214.

Wharton, C. M., R. Shaw Hughner, L. MacMillan and C. Dumitrescu (2015) “Community Supported Agriculture Programs: A Novel Venue for Theory-Based Health Behavior Change Interventions,” ​Ecology of Food and Nutrition​, May-Jun 54(3) 280-301.