Nancy M. Childs, Ph.D.

Professor, Gerald E. Peck Fellow
Disciplines Taught: Food Marketing, International Business
Office: 357 Mandeville hall
Phone: (610) 660-1643

A lifelong participant in the food industry, Nancy Childs is familiar with a wide range of food industry activities and consumer behavior regarding food and food retailing, especially food for health.  Recent research focuses on the food label, notably health claims and front-of-package symbols, and the obesity challenge including marketing to children.  She speaks internationally on these topics.  She is widely published in the academic and trade press withover one hundred publications.  Frequently interviewed in the press and on radio, she is an active food policy participant for NAS, USDA, FDA and the White House.


  • PhD Century University
  • Masters California Institute of Technology
  • BS Duke University 

Professional Experience

Boards, Associations, Committees

  • USDA Secretary’s National Agricultural Research Education Extension & Economics Advisory Board (NAREEAB), national representative for Food Marketing and Retailing, member of executive committee, 2010-2013.
  • White House working group on Healthy Food Messaging and Dietary Guidance, 2010-present.
  • SAFE (Strategies for Agriculture & Food Excellence), Pennsylvania Governor’s Commission on Food Safety, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, (2009-present)
  • International Food Information Council Foundation Board (2007-present)
  • Innova Database Editorial Board, Europe (2008- present)

Courses Taught

  • Understanding Food Consumers and Customers
  • International Food Marketing       

Executive level:

  • Competitive Analysis
  • International Food Business
  • International Food Business: Asia & Pacific/Comparative Marketing: Japan & US
  • Nutraceuticals & Functional Foods

Future Issues:

  • Food Labeling:  Consumer Right to Know, Public Policy and Profit, November 2008.  
  • Food Industry Summit Doing the Right Things for Shareholders & Society, March 2007.  
  • Business Research on Obesity: Impact and Issues for the Food Industry, October 2006.


Selection of Scholarly Articles

Reinhardt, Wendy, Elizabeth Rahavi, Nancy Childs, Christy White, “Functional Foods:  Attitudes, Perceptions and Behaviors in a Growing Market”, Journal of American Dietetic Association, (accepted for June 2011 publication)

Shaw-Hughner, Renee, Jill Maher, Nancy Childs, William Nganje, “Fish: Friend or Foe? Food policy and subpopulation warnings for consumers”, Food Policy, 34(2) 2009:185-197.

Shaw-Hugner, Renee, Jill Maher, Nancy Childs, “Review of Food Policy and Consumer Issues of Mercury in Fish”, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 27(2), 2008:185-194.

Maher, Jill, Kenneth Herbst, Nancy Childs, Seth Finn, “Racial Stereotypes in Children’s Television Commercials: An Examination of the Current State of the Practice”, Journal of Advertising Research, 48(1), 2008:48(1): 80-93.

Reinhardt, Wendy, David Schmidt, Nancy Childs, Meunier, White, “Consumer Perceptions of Graded, Graphic and Text Label Presentations for Qualified Health Claims”, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 48(3), 2008:248-256.

Selection of Industry Articles

“Consumers redefine value: Concepts that focus on fresh and healthy are winning the day”, Grocery Headquarters, April 2009.

“Sensible Labeling”, The World of Food Ingredients, Sept 2008:50-54. (with J. Maher)

“Tower of Babel or Healthier Choices? Grocery Headquarters, Sept 2008:12.

“Finding the Advantage: Research identifies grocers’ best practices for promoting health and wellness to their shoppers”, Grocery Headquarters, Nov 2007:14.

“Avian Flu: Consumer Scenarios and Responsible Marketing”, Nutrition Business Journal, November 2006, 10(10/11):46-47.

Recent Industry Talks / Speeches

“Trends in Healthy and Better-For-You Foods”, keynote speaker for US Healthy Foods Trade Show, Seoul South Korea and Tokyo Japan: October 2010.

“The Future Employee: Understanding the Leaders of Tomorrow and What Motivates Them”, Food Marketing Institute Future Connect annual conference, Dallas TX: October 12, 2009. (with T. Bourgeois)

“Truth in Food Labeling”, 2009 Agriculture Legislative Chairs Summit, San Diego, California: January 2009.

“Trends in Functional Foods Consumption”, United Nations FAO: World Seafood Conference 2007, Dublin Ireland: September 27, 2007.

“Understanding the Retailer’s View of Obesity: Opportunities to Maximize Products, Packaging and Promotion”, SNAXPO 2007, Ft. Lauderdale FL: March 24, 2007.

Selection of Published Books

Childs, Nancy (ed.), SJU Business Research: Obesity Impact and Issues for the Food Industry, SJU University Press, 2007, 50p.

Childs, Nancy, “Obesity Policy: Opportunities for Functional Food Market Growth”, Handbook of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods, 2nd edition, Robert Wildman (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, 2006: 517-521.

Childs, Nancy, “Marketing and Regulatory Issues for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals”, Handbook of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods, 2nd edition, Robert Wildman (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, 2006: 503-516.

Childs, Nancy, (2004). Guidelines for Communicating the Emerging Science of Dietary Components for Health, Washington DC: International Food Information Council, 2004.

Childs, Nancy M. and J. Urbanchuk, Export Guide for Pennsylvania Agriculture, Harrisburg PA, Pennsylvania Dept. of Agriculture, 2000: 101p.

Grants and Awards

Recent Grants

  • Food Export USA Midwest and Northeast, “Healthy and Better-for-you Foods Trends Industry Speaker: South Korea and Japan”, 2010
  • Pennsylvania Wine Marketing and Research Board, “Consumer Attitudes Influencing Pennsylvania Wine Industry Opportunity”, (Center for Food Marketing), 2008-2009
  • Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, “Importance and Meaning of rBST Milk Labels to Pennsylvania Consumers” (Center for Food Marketing), 2007-2008.
  • Department of Human Services and Department of Labor, HSB research coordinator, (with J. Bradey Principal Investigator), “Healthy Lessons for Urban Youth”, 2004-2005


  • Saint Joseph’s University’s Extraordinary Merit Award Research
  • Saint Joseph’s University’s Extraordinary Merit Award Teaching
  • Saint Joseph’s University’s Extraordinary Merit Award Advising
  • Saint Joseph’s University’s Extraordinary Merit Award Service
  • Service Award FDA Center for Food Safety and Nutrition

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