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.


Andi 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, A., & Raszap Skorbiansky, S. (2023, December 27). Farm to plate U.S. organic markets in 2021. Amber Waves (Infographic), U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Carlson, A. C., Tornow, C. E., Page, E. T., Brown McFadden, A., & Palmer Zimmerman, T. (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.

Badruddoza, S., Carlson, A. C., & McCluskey, J. J. (2022). Long‐term dynamics of U.S. organic milk, eggs, and yogurt premiums. Agribusiness, 38(1), 45–72.

Carlson, A., Lino, M., Juan, W., Hanson, K., & Basiotis, P. P. (2007, April). Thrifty Food Plan, 2006 (Report No. CNPP-19). U.S. Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.

Carlson, A., & Senauer, B. (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.