In this paper we study the latent demand structure for food diversity in India using data from the 2012 Consumer Expenditure Survey. We assume that consumers who have not yet attained calorie sufficiency favor calories over food diversity and once passing a threshold of subsistence substitute away from staples towards a more varied diet.This implies a latent demand pattern as calorie sufficiency depends on unobservable individual characteristics. Latent classes and consumption patterns are identified by means of finite mixture models. Therefore we examine the link between food diversity indices and socioeconomic indicators, explain component memberships in order to characterize latent classes and evaluate nutritional implications. Two clearly distinct demand patterns for diversity could be identified, consistent with the initial assumptions. The identified classes differ substantially in income, household composition and nutritional adequacy.
food diversity India finite mixture models consumer demand