This study examines the key factors that determine the preferences of US consumers towards the growing and processing used for horticultural products such as fruit, vegetables, wine and beer over their preferences for buying them both before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings obtained using Partial Least Square Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM) show that engagement with horticulture prior to and after the occurrence of COVID-19 influenced preferences for the growing and processing of fruit, vegetables, wine and beer over buying them in both the pre-COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 contexts. Engagement with horticulture before and after the COVID-19 pandemic was significantly impacted by attitudes towards US growers. Attitudes towards COVID-19 and human values such as self-enhancement, conservation and self-transcendence were also found to be significant factors, while openness to change was not found to be significant. Best practice recommendations are included on the basis of these findings for managers of community gardens, horticultural properties and specialized food stores.
Keywords: COVID-19; PLS-SEM; horticultural products.