Journal Article

The Effect of Supercenter-format Stores on the Healthfulness of Consumers’ Grocery Purchases

Richard Volpe, Abigail Okrent and Ephraim Leibtag

in American Journal of Agricultural Economics

Published on behalf of Agricultural and Applied Economics Association

Volume 95, issue 3, pages 568-589
Published in print April 2013 | ISSN: 0002-9092
Published online January 2013 | e-ISSN: 1467-8276 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajae/aas132
The Effect of Supercenter-format Stores on the Healthfulness of Consumers’ Grocery Purchases

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  • Manufacturing
  • Household Behaviour and Family Economics
  • Other Economic Systems
  • Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance

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We examine the effect of supercenter market share on consumers’ food-at-home purchasing habits in the United States. We measure healthfulness several different ways to ensure robustness, but all measurements place a greater value on fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains than on processed foods high in sugar and sodium. We find that from 1998–2006 consumers generally purchased less healthful foods at supercenters than they do at supermarkets. Moreover, a one-percent increase in the local market share of supercenters results in a decrease in purchase healthfulness for groceries of 0.10 to 0.46 percent. This relationship is statistically significant and robust.

Keywords: consumer behavior; dietary guidelines; food purchases; food retailing; obesity; supercenters; D12; L11; L66; P46

Journal Article.  10791 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Manufacturing ; Household Behaviour and Family Economics ; Other Economic Systems ; Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance

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