Yu Ma

Associate Professor, Marketing
Yu Ma
Contact Information
Email address: 
yu.ma [at] mcgill.ca
Alternate email address: 
darlene.fowler [at] mcgill.ca

Bronfman Building [Map]
1001 rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 1G5


PhD, Olin School of Business, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri. 

MSc, Olin School of Business, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri.

BA, Business and Management School, Nankai University, Tianjin, China. 


Dr. Yu Ma is Associate Professor of Marketing at McGill University. He obtained his PhD in management from Olin School of Business, Washington University in St. Louis. Before joining McGill, he was Associate Professor at University of Alberta. His research interest includes food marketing, retailing and big data analytics. Using consumer purchase data and advanced econometric and statistical models, he studies how consumers react to various marketing incentives. He also examines broader marketing issues such as the influence of macro environment on the retail sector and the impact of food marketing on population health. He has published in top management journals such as Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Research, Management Science, and Journal of Retailing, as well as top public health journals. 

Areas of expertise: 

Data Analytics, Retailing, and Food Marketing


Curriculum vitae: 
Tenured & Tenure Track
Research areas: 
Data Analytics
Food Marketing
Taught previously at: 

University of Alberta

Selected publications: 

 Google Scholar Page

Selected Peer-reviewed journal articles:

  • Ma, Yu, Kusum L. Ailawadi, Mercedes Martos-Partal, and Óscar González-Benito (2023), “Dual Branding by National Brand Manufacturers: Drivers and Outcomes”, Journal of Marketing, forthcoming.
  • Manoj Thomas, Yu Ma, Dinesh Gauri (2023), Food Craving Increases Unhealthy Food Purchases: A Study of SNAP Households, Journal of Marketing Research, forthcoming. Equal contribution.
  • Mamiya, Hiroshi, Alexandra M. Schmidt, Erica EM Moodie, Yu Ma, and David L. Buckeridge. "Generating community measures of food purchasing activities using store-level electronic grocery transaction records: an ecological study in Montreal, Canada." Public Health Nutrition 24, no. 17 (2021): 5616-5628.
  • Liu, Jingwen, Peng Zou, and Yu Ma. “The Effect of Air Pollution on Food Preferences.” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science (2022), 50.2, 410-423.
  • Labban, Alice, Yu Ma, and Laurette Dube. "A neurobehavioral account of differential consumer responses to price and in-store display between un/healthy food." European Journal of Marketing (2021), Vol. 55 No. 11, pp. 2988-3009.
  • Gielens, Katrijn, Yu Ma, Aidin Namin, Raj Sethuraman, Ronn J. Smith, Robert C. Bachtel, and Suzanne Jervis. "The future of private labels: towards a smart private label strategy." Journal of Retailing 97 (2021), no. 1: 99-115.
  • Ma, Yu, Cameron McRae, Yun-Hsuan Wu, and Laurette Dube. "Dissecting Vegetable Expenditure Patterns and Exploring Socioeconomic Inequity Pathways: Policy Insights for Traditional and Modern Contexts from A Consumer Choice Model of Loyalty Retail Data." Frontiers in Public Health 9 (2021): 1114.

  • Mamiya, Hiroshi, Erica EM Moodie, Alexandra M. Schmidt, Yu Ma, and David L. Buckeridge. "Price discounting as a hidden risk factor of energy drink consumption." Canadian Journal of Public Health (2021): 1-9.

  • Ma, Yu, PB Seethu Seetharaman, and Vishal Singh. "A multi-category demand model incorporating inter-product proximity." Journal of Business Research 124 (2021): 152-162.
  • Rupinder P. Jindal, Dinesh K.Gauri, Wanyu Li, Yu Ma, "Omnichannel battle between Amazon and Walmart: Is the focus on delivery the best strategy?", Journal of Business Research 122 (2021): 270-280.

  • Coghlan, Christopher, JoAnne Labrecque, Yu Ma, and Laurette Dubé. "A Biological Adaptability Approach to Innovation for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs): Strategic Insights from and for Health-Promoting Agri-Food Innovation." Sustainability 12, no. 10 (2020): 4227.
  • Mamiya, Hiroshi, Alexandra M. Schmidt, Erica EM. Moodie, Yu Ma, and David L. Buckeridge (2019), “An Area-Level Indicator of Latent Soda Demand: Spatial Statistical Modeling of Grocery Store Transaction Data to Characterize the Nutritional Landscape in Montreal, Canada”, American Journal of Epidemiology, 188, no. 9 (2019): 1713-1722.

  • Mamiya, Hiroshi, Erica EM Moodie, Yu Ma, and David L. Buckeridge (2018), "Susceptibility to price discounting of soda by neighbourhood educational status: an ecological analysis of disparities in soda consumption using point-of-purchase transaction data in Montreal, Canada." International Journal of Epidemiology, 47, no. 6 (2018): 1877-1886.

  • Ailawadi, Kusum L., Yu Ma, Dhruv Grewal (2018), "The Club Store Effect: Impact of Shopping in Warehouse Club Stores on Consumers’ Packaged Food Purchases." Journal of Marketing Research, 55(2), 193-207.

Finalist for Journal of Marketing Research’s 2019 Green Award.

  • Rao, V.R., Russell, G.J., Bhargava, H., Cooke, A., Derdenger, T., Kim, H., Kumar, N., Levin, I., Ma, Y., Mehta, N. and Pracejus, J. (2018), "Emerging Trends in Product Bundling: Investigating Consumer Choice and Firm Behavior." Customer Needs and Solutions, 5(1-2), pp.107-120.
  • Minakshi Trivedi, Dinesh K. Gauri, and Yu Ma (2016), "Measuring the Efficiency of Category-Level Sales Response to Promotions", Management Science. 63(10), 3473-3488. . Equal contribution.

  • Laurette Dubé, Alice Labban, Jean-Claude Moubarac, Gabriela Heslop, Yu Ma, Catherine Paquet (2015), “A nutrition/health mindset on commercial Big Data and drivers of food demand in modern and traditional systems”, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1331, pp 278-295

  • Kalpesh Desai, Dinesh K. Gauri, and Yu Ma (2014), “An Empirical Investigation of Composite Product Choice,” Journal of Retailing, 90 (4), 493-510. Equal contribution.

  • Robert Fisher and Yu Ma (2014), “The Price of Being Beautiful: the Negative Effects of Attractiveness on Helping Children in Need,” Journal of Consumer Research. 41(2), 436-450.

  • David L. Buckeridge, Katia Charland, Alice Labban, and Yu Ma (2014), “A Method for Neighbourhood-leve Survillen of Food Purchasing,” Annals of the New York Academy of Science.

  • Kusum L. Ailawadi, Karen Gedenk, Tobias Langer, Yu Ma, and Scott A. Neslin ( 2014), “Consumer Response To Uncertain Promotions: An Empirical Analysis Of Conditional Rebates,” International Journal of Research in Marketing, Vol. 31, No. 1, 94-106.

  • Yu Ma, Kusum L. Ailawadi, and Dhruv Grewal (2013), “Soda versus Cereal and Sugar versus Fat: Drivers of Healthful Food Intake and the Impact of Diabetes Diagnosis”, Journal of Marketing, Vol. 77, No. 3, 101-120.

  • Ernan Haruvy, Peter T.L. Popkowski Leszczyc, and Yu Ma (2014), “Does Higher Transparency Lead to More Search in Online Auctions?” Production and Operations Management, Vol. 23(2), 197-209.

  • Nitin Mehta and Yu Ma (2012), “A Multi-Category Model of Consumer’s Purchase Incidence, Quantity and Brand Choice Decisions,” Journal of Marketing Research, lead article, 49(4), 435-451.

  • Yu Ma, P.B. Seetharaman, and Chakravarthi Narasimhan (2012), “Modeling Dependencies in Brand Choice Outcomes across Complementary Categories,” Journal of Retailing, 88, 47-62. 

  • Yu Ma, Kusum L. Ailawadi, Dinesh K Gauri, Dhruv Grewal (2011), “An Empirical Investigation of the Impact of Gasoline Prices on Consumers' Shopping Behavior”, Journal of Marketing, 75 (2), 18-35.


Awards, honours, and fellowships: 


2017-2022 Bensadoun Faculty Scholar, McGill University

2012 Retail Research Award, University of Alberta



2013-2017, 2018-2021 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Grants, PI. 

2014-2015 Danone Institute of Canada Research Grant, Co-PI. 

2011, 2014, 2016 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Grant, co-applicant. 

2017 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Development Grant, co-applicant. 

2014 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Partnership Development Grant, co-applicant. 


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