What is your favorite Southern dish? A study of Southern US consumers

Document Type

Journal Article


Faculty of Business and Law


School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure




This article was originally published as: Alonso, A. D., & O'Neill, M. (2012). What is your favorite Southern dish? A study of Southern US consumers. Journal of Foodservice Business Research, 15(3), 247-264. Original article available here


Different studies have highlighted the importance of food in different leisure activities, including the link between food and tourism. However, to what extent do local consumers know about their own foods, or are involved with consumption of local, traditional dishes? The present case study explores Southern foods from the perspective of Southern residents through written descriptions of their favorite Southern dish(es). Overall, participants' comments in the questionnaire illustrate that their favorite food choices were very limited. The fact that vegetables and desserts were only marginally included as core elements of participants' favorite Southern dish also suggest consumers' lack of food knowledge or limited interest about their cuisine. Consumer education, particularly about the multiple existing options, including healthy and quality alternatives available in Southern cuisine is therefore suggested. Consumer education could also assist in using the local food as a tool to raise the profile of the Southern region as a tourism destination.